When Janne Blichert-Toft came to me with the invitation of writing a volume of Geochemical Perspectives, I already had in mind the desire to write something that was neither strictly a terse scientific article, nor a general undergraduate text. In this sense, GP was a perfect fit, encouraging, as it does, a narrative of scientific advance in a specialised field, blended with personal experience. In my case, the specialised field is the geochemistry of the so called “atmophile” elements (H, C, N, and the noble gases), according to the nomenclature of Victor Moritz Goldschmidt.

I jumped at the invitation…...

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