Letter | Published:

Geologists in War-Time

Nature volume 150, page 25 (04 July 1942) | Download Citation



MIGHT I suggest that the lack of interest shown in the work of geologists in war-time, complained of by Dr. F. Coles Phillips in NATURE of April 4 last, is a continuation of a similar lack of interest in peacetime? This subject was dealt with ably by Prof. P. G. H. Boswell in his presidential address to the Geological Society of London last year, and it is now being realized that, admirable and fundamental as pure science may be, any branch of science which is not linked to everyday life is bound to suffer the fate that is being suffered to-day by pure geology. Mining and oil geology have already robbed the science of many potential adherents, but what has struck me most since my interest in geology was aroused over twenty years ago has been its complete neglect of its possible application to allied sciences. Thus to take only those cases of which I have personal knowledge, building stones, road and building aggregates, and greater than these, soil mechanics, are all examples of subjects which could have been developed by geologists, but which have been left by them to chemists, physicists and engineers with markedly beneficial results to those branches of science and a corresponding loss to geology.

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  1. Civil Engineering Department, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. May 30.



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