The Geological Survey in Scotland, 1900 to 2000 and beyond
The Geological Survey in Scotland, 1900 to 2000 and beyond (in The millennium issue, Anonymous)
Scottish Journal of Geology (2000) 36, Part 1: 4-7
As the 20th century dawned, the staff of the Geological Survey in Scotland were at the forefront of innovative groundbreaking science. Meticulous field observations were unraveling Scotland"s geological secrets. Peach and Home had just published their iconoclastic memoir on the Southern Uplands and had laid the foundations for their great work on the NW Highlands. Their peers, Clough and Hinxman, had already largely determined the framework of the Southern Highlands and developed a coherent stratigraphy in the Lowland Coalfields. An observer at the time might well have thought that by the end of the century the Geological Survey would have completed its task but, as we stand at the beginning of the new millennium, it is still engaged in fundamental science. Moreover, it is now more relevant to the wider community than ever before. There are three reasons why this position has developed: our understanding of geological processes has blossomed; the techniques for interpreting geology have been greatly enhanced; and perhaps most critically, society is more appreciative of the fundamental role of earth sciences in many aspects of modern life. Rifting, drifting and the rise of the specialist In the last half century there has been an almost exponential increase in the understanding of geological processes. This has been matched by increasing specialization, recognized in the Survey by the establishment of geophysical, geochemical and other divisions through the 50s and 60s and by the concept of the multidisciplinary survey in the early 80s. This latter concept was radical and sought . . .