One hundred and fifty years ago, when the major qualitative changes initiated during the so-called 'Heroic Age of Geology' were beginning to be appreciated and to take effect, it was possible for one man to have a reasonably comprehensive grasp of the state of geology in this country. Nowadays, however, individual geologists are unable to keep abreast of the developments in their own field let alone keep track of the rapidly changing structure of geology in general, and of its relations with other sciences and with society.
Considerable effort is, of course, being made by various individuals, institutions and societies to keep abreast of the exponential growth of geological literature by providing bibliographies, abstracts and reviews. And although it is becoming increasingly difficult 'to keep up with keeping up,' there is definite evidence of co-operative effort between scientists and librarians in tackling the problem.
Similarly, statistical and other surveys are being carried out regarding the distribution of geological manpower as part of the triennial manpower surveys of persons in employment with qualifications in engineering, science and technology and also of the place of geology in education, in industry and in other sections of society. These assessments are, however, being carried out by a diversity of bodies and the results commonly appear in publications which either have restricted distribution, or are little known to practising geologists. Any one individual geologist has, therefore, little chance of appreciating the overall picture. Because of this, I wish to make three inter-related suggestions :–– that