Historical Background

The address given annually by the retiring president of our Society has usually been the occasion for the presentation of new discoveries, or for philosophic deductions or observations on the broader phases of paleontology and stratigraphy. In these times of economic storm and stress, however, it seems more appropriate that I should take stock of the progress of our science, briefly review the past, and consider the present, so that we may plan and build more firmly for the future, and it is particularly desirable that someone should call attention not only to our opportunities but to certain of our failings. I have restricted my remarks to invertebrate paleontology because of my greater familiarity with that division of the subject. My topics are matters well known to us all; indeed, perhaps so familiar that we do not always accord them proper attention in our work, and so I . . .

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