Goals and Trends of Research in Geology and Geography

Science  04 Jun 1948:
Vol. 107, Issue 2788, pp. 581-584
DOI: 10.1126/science.107.2788.581


Summarizing in a few words the essence of the preceding analysis of goals and trends in research in Geology and Geography, we may say that the goal in Geology is a knowledge and understanding of the earth and of its history. In Geography it is a knowledge and understanding of the natural and human environments, to the end that they may best be utilized toward better living in the broadest sense.

Trends in research in these sciences that seem not altogether desirable are those toward overorganization of research and overdirection from others than the ones who are to do the work; toward indiscriminate fact-gathering; toward lessening of critical analysis of, and discussion of, papers given at meetings and of the published results; and toward premature publication and excessive volume of publications resulting from the prevailing practice of soliciting papers for scientific meetings.

Changes in methods of financing of research resulting from a great decrease in endowment incomes are noted, together with a strong tendency to look toward the Federal Government for the financing of university research, in spite of the obvious dangers to university freedom which such financing involves.