Abstract

“For man is not satisfied in seeing things which are, he seeks to know how things have been and and what they are to be.”

James Mutton, 1788, Theory of the Earth

“Geologists are not much interested in the future. They are preoccupied with what has happened….”

David Kitts, 1976, Certainty and Uncertainty in Geology

Geologists are increasingly interacting with public policy makers as a consequence of the growing interest of geologists in forecasting–an interest stemming both from innate curiosity and from the mandate of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The growth of interaction between geologists and policy makers places a responsibility on geologists and their institutions to analyze carefully both the effects on geologic research and the manner in which the implications of that research are translated for the policy maker. In meeting this responsibility they must recognize that their views of the social and economic system affect both the form and content of their advice to the policy makers.

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