To celebrate the 150th volume of the Journal of the Geological Society, several distinguished authors have been invited to present their personal views on significant topics that had been brought to the fore in earlier publications of the Geological Society. These include the early seminal works of Lyell, Murchison, Sedgwick and Sorby to later ones by Howell Williams, O.T. Jones, H.H. Read and even several by still active protagonists.

Two or three such contributions will appear in each issue of volume 150 of the Journal. In this issue, Martin Rudwick looks at the history of the Journal, Brian Windley applies Lyell’s Principle of Uniformitarianism to solving the Earth’s history during the Archaean and subsequently, and Stuart McKerrow considers the works of Murchison and Sedgwick and others, and sees how they created a foundation from which modern global stratigraphy has emerged. The contributions make evident the role held by the Journal and other publications of the Geological Society, at the forefront of geological thinking right across the many specializations that now divide the science.

Volume 150 in 1993 is not quite the sesquicentennial issue, because in 1977 two volumes were published in order to clear the back-log of good papers awaiting publication. The same feeling that too much good science was not receiving the wide appreciation deserved, was one factor that made Lyell, Murchison, Warburton, Horner and De La Beche seek an improved medium of publication for the Geological Society in the 1840s. As Rudwick points out in the first of

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