Editorials

Alps as Inspiration

By | February, 2021

Looking down on the Earth from space, the Alps appear to be a small, and possibly unimportant, adornment to the tremendous girdle of “Alpide” orogens that stretch the full width of the southern margin of the Eurasian continent. But seen up close, and with historical perspective, the Alps punch far above their weight. From the deepest prehistory of our hominid ancestors to the modern age, the Alps have been a formidable barrier to trade, communication, migration, and conquest across the small, but storied, “peninsula” of Europe—a fact brought home for me when I recently toured a museum in Bolzano (Italy) dedicated to the life and remains of “Ötzi”, a man who met his end five thousand years ago in the high peaks and ice fields of the Ötztal Alps.

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Fluids and the Field

By | December, 2020

As someone who firmly sits on the “Lab Rats–Computer Geeks” binary join of the geoscientist ternary diagram (Fig. 1), putting together this “Hydrothermal Fluids” issue of Elements has brought back some vivid memories of my yearly foray into field teaching. Faced with the task of explaining some complex, but fundamentally important, geological process encoded into the face of an outcrop, I would get the inevitable student question: “But why does that happen?” Invariably, my mumbled response would be, “Because of fluids….”. As pointed out – more expertly – by this issue’s guest editors Matthew Steele-MacInnis and Craig Manning, very little happens on Earth without with involvement of fluids, a fact that becomes immediately evident in the field, well away from the clean, dry and highly controlled laboratory environment that I am more comfortable inhabiting. Having finalized this issue, I am looking forward to giving much more detailed answers in the future!

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A Date for Odysseus

By | October, 2020

Time is a big deal for us geologists. Rates of Earth processes range from the mind-numbingly slow (mantle convection) to the catastrophically fast (volcanic eruptions) with everything in between. Geologists move effortlessly from units of seconds to giga years in a way that often confounds scientists in other disciplines; no geologist is unaware of humanitys’ fleetingly brief tenure of the planet in the grand scheme of things.

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Archived Editorials (PDF)

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2015 Issues

February 2015

Gordon Brown

"HAS LIFE EVER EXISTED ON MARS?"

April 2015

John Valley

"TIME’S ARROW AND TIME’S CYCLE"

June 2015

Patricia Dove

"GROWING PAINS IN THE ERA OF BIG DATA"

August 2015

Gordon Brown

"BOUNTIES FROM THE EARTH"

October 2015

Bernard Wood

"RESOURCES AND WAR"

 

2014 Issues

February 2014

John Valley

"ASTEROID WHAT?"

April 2014

John Valley

"PLAYTHINGS VERSUS THE KILLER ROCK?"

June 2014

Gordon Brown

"KAOLINS: NANOMINERALS WITH A PROUD HERITAGE"

August 2014

Patricia Dove

"NATURAL GAS IN THE EMERGING GLOBAL ENERGY LANDSCAPE"

October 2014

Patricia Dove

"WRESTLING WITH REPRODUCIBILITY IN RESEARCH"

December 2014

Georges Calas

"A BIG FAMILY"

2013 Issues

February 2013

John W. Valley

"THE AGE OF THE EARTH"

April 2013

Georges Calas

"VERSATILE SERPENTINE"

June 2013

Patricia M. Dove

"TWIST AND SHOUT"

August 2013

John W. Valley

"JOURNEY TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE EARTH"

October 2013

James (Tim) I. Drever

"SOME PARTING THOUGHTS"

December 2013

Georges Calas

"LINKS AND LINKS"

2012 Issues

February 2012

Harry (Hap) Y. McSween

"LIVING IN THE FAST LANE"

April 2012

James (Tim) I. Drever

"DECISIONS, DECISIONS"

June 2012

Georges Calas

"BREAKING BOUNDARIES"

August 2012

John W. Valley

"MIGMA VERSUS MAGMA"

October 2012

Georges Calas

"TALES, TALES..."

December 2012

James (Tim) I. Drever

"POLLUTION AND PRESERVATION"

2011 Issues

February 2011

Harry (Hap) Y. McSween

"TO BE EXPLORERS"

April 2011

David J. Vaughan

"THE MASTERY OF IRON"

June 2011

James (Tim) I. Drever

"WATER RESOURCES -- SCIENCE AND VALUES"

August 2011

Harry (Hap) Y. McSween

"IS SCIENCE A CONTACT SPORT?"

October 2011

Georges Calas

"TOURMALINE RESEARCH: UNLOCKING ALI BABA'S CAVE"

December 2011

James (Tim) I. Drever

"PREDICTION IS HARD -- PARTICULARLY ABOUT THE FUTURE"

2010 Issues

February 2010

David J. Vaughan

"EVOLUTION AND EXTINCTION"

April 2010

Harry (Hap) Y. McSween

"HELL ON EARTH"

June 2010

Susan L.S. Stipp

"STRATEGIC OR BLUE SKY RESEARCH?"

August 2010

David J. Vaughan

"SOMETHING IN THE AIR"

October 2010

Harry (Hap) Y. McSween

"THANKS, DR. GIBBS"

December 2010

James (Tim) I. Drever

"WE'VE COME A LONG WAY"

2009 Issues

February 2009

E. Bruce Watson

"THE ECONOMY AND THE MOON"

April 2009

Susan L.S. Stipp

"WHO SHOULD DECIDE HOW RESEARCH FUNDING IS SPENT?"

June 2009

David J. Vaughan

"GEMS, RICHES, WEALTH AND FINANCE"

August 2009

David J. Vaughan

"MAGNETISM AND MESMERISM"

October 2009

Harry (Hap) Y. McSween

"ALL THAT GLITTERS..."

December 2009

Susan L.S. Stipp

"THE DA VINCI PROFILE -- BREADTH AND DEPTH"

2008 Issues

February 2008

Ian Parsons

"HOW ARE WE DOING?"

April 2008

Susan L.S. Stipp

"DEPLETING RESOURCES, ETHICS AND INNOVATION"

June 2008

E. Bruce Watson

"SCIENTIFIC FRONTIERS AND RISKY VERSUS SAFE SCIENCE"

August 2008

E. Bruce Watson

"QUIET REVOLUTION IN THE GEOCHEMICAL SCIENCES"

October 2008

Susan S. L. Stipp

"THE CO2 CHALLENGE -- A CALL TO ACTION"

December 2008

David J. Vaughan

"GREAT SCIENCE OR GREY GOO?

2007 Issues

February 2007

Ian Parsons

"NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON'T"

April 2007

Michael F. Hochella, Jr.

"TEACHING, EXPLAINED"

June 2007

Ian Parsons

"SCIENCE AND THE POLICYMAKERS"

August 2007

E. Bruce Watson

"RISKING THE FUTURE OF GEOSCIENCE"

October 2007

Susan L.S. Stipp

"FAIRNESS IN EVALUATION: MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL"

December 2007

E. Bruce Watson

"GEOSCIENCE CIRRICULA FOR THE 21ST CENTURY"

2006 Issues

February 2006

Michael F. Hochella, Jr.

"THE POLITICAL MISUSE OF SCIENCE"

April 2006

Michael F. Hochella, Jr.

"SO YOU WANT TO FORM AN INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM"...GOOD LUCK!"

June 2006

Rodney C. Ewing

"TWO PLANETS -- WHICH FUTURE?"

August 2006

Ian Parsons

"VESTIGES AND PROSPECTS"

October 2006

E. Bruce Watson

"ADVISING FUTURE SCIENTISTS"

December 2006

E. Bruce Watson

"GEOSCIENCE ESSENTIALS OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT"

2005 Issues

January 2005

Rodney C. Ewing, Michael F. Hochella Jr., Ian Parsons, and Pierrette Tremblay

"ELEMENTS: BUILDING A NEW BRIDGE"

March 2005

Ian Parsons

"ELEMENTS: GETTING INTO THE SWING"

June 2005

Michael F. Hochella, Jr.

"JUMPING ACROSS THE COLORADO"

September 2005

Michael F. Hochella, Jr.

"THE COST OF SCIENCE"

December 2005

Ian Parsons

"FORMATIVE EVENTS"