Mineralogists awaken! We need better PR. Perhaps we can learn useful techniques from the Quaternary geologists. They’ve been resiliently successful for a long time. In the 19th century, they electrified the public with the then brand-new notion that much of North America and Europe were covered in the not-too-distant past by successive surges of glacial ice, kilometers thick. Reports of forests overridden by drift, frozen mammoths, and tigers in tar pits aroused universal interest. In the mid-20th century (when I was a lad), popular lectures on “Are we on the verge of a new ice age?” filled museum auditoriums....

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