I thank you, Neil Williams, for your generous citation; John Dow, for presenting the Medal; and you, ladies and gentlemen, for your warm welcome.

I have been privileged to be a member of the Society of Economic Geologists for 46 years. I speak from experience, then, when I say I am amazed that this year’s committee chose me as the Penrose Medalist. Needless to say, I am both pleased and honored that they did so, and I accept the Medal with pride.

I want to focus for a few moments on history, because the 20th century—the time of my...

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