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MSA presidential address; Will mineralogy save the world?


, : MSA presidential address; Will mineralogy save the world?. Geological Society of America 42.5

The science of the fields of mineralogy, crystallography, petrology, and geochemistry is fundamental to understanding a large number of critical issues facing the world today, including environmental and health problems, energy and resource development, protection from natural disasters, attaining technological advances, and maintaining quality of life. Unfortunately, public appreciation for, and allocation of funds to, research in MSA disciplines is not at a level appropriate for their importance to society. This is an increasingly serious problem. Mineralogy will be unable to positively impact societal issues unless MSA members act now to increase the visibility and understanding of the significance of MSA fields. We must better educate the public, beginning with our students and colleagues, about the nature and importance of mineralogy (and crystallography, petrology, and geochemistry). We must adopt this as a high priority goal and pursue it with the same imagination and vigor we use in our research. For those MSA members who are teachers, it is in our classrooms that we have the most influence and the best chance to succeed. Most of our students will not become MSA members, but they can be mineralogically savvy citizens and geoscientists. How can we change our teaching to be more effective in conveying the power and relevance of mineralogy and to reflect the electronic, technological world of our students and our science? What strategies can we use to influence the public and the policy makers who do not attend our classes? Only through a concerted effort will we put mineralogy in the limelight the discipline deserves, and society needs. It is up to us.

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