If science and argument benefit from each other, then it is not surprising that the Steenland era was robust for exploration, whether one agreed or disagreed with his famous and often controversial points of view. Nelson Steenland (1919–2000) was one of several outstanding graduates of Maurice Ewing's geophysical program at Columbia University (see his biographical sidebar to this article), and he entered the geophysical profession with a new PhD in 1949, perfect timing to engage in the fledgling development of the airborne magnetometer. Not only was Steenland's impact on the aeromagnetic enterprise significant (no doubt, only a few would disagree), but also his influence on the whole of oil and gas exploration was remarkable (many may disagree with me here). Unfortunately, he will not have an opportunity to write one of his head-turning responses to this article, so I will quote him with some frequency in what follows.

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