This year's joint C.S.E.G./C.S.P.G. Convention was, in almost every respect, a grand success. In the wake of that success there has been some discussion about our relationship with our sister society, the C.S.P.G. It begins with the very coy, who guardedly suggest that it might be worth striking a committee to deliberate for a year or two about going from a five to a four year period between joint conventions. It ends with those who gaze in admiration across the Atlantic where the E.A.E.G. is merging with the E.A.P.G. and ask "why not?" The arguments usually run along lines of identity, money or function.
Identity is important to us. The S.E.G. understood this when at this year's annual meeting they amended their by-laws to say that there is no difference between an S.E.G. section and an affiliated society.
There are two key questions around identity. Will it hurt us as geophysicists if we dilute our identity to where we become exploration earth scientists? Will increasing the frequency of joint conventions with the C.S.P.G. be the crest of a slippery slope towards the loss of our identity?
Money is important to us. We are a non-profit society but with it we can do more good things to facilitate the practice of geophysics than we can without it. There is no room to argue that the joint conventions haven't produced more of it than any other C.S.E.G. conventions because they have. But it doesn't follow that if two flights a day to Vancouver make a profit for the airline, four will be even better. The key question around money is what period between joint conventions is optimal to ensure that they remain profitable because they are special.
Finally, function is important to us. Function is what we expect the C.S.E.G. to do for us. This is the most important part of the whole discussion. Identity will draw out the isolationist in each of us, and money will lead the two societies to experiment with closer links. Function will be affected in ways which are very difficult to predict. Here are a few of the questions which I have heard about function.
Was the geophysical output as good in the technical sessions at the joint convention as in those of previous C.S.E.G. conventions? If not or if so, would the trend continue at future joint conventions? Would the work of data processing members be marginalized at more frequent joint conventions and begin to decline? Would data processing members gain a stronger appreciation of the relevance of their work and do more at joint conventions? Would we fumble on recent seismic incursions into the mining and academic sectors and paint ourselves into a petroleum comer?
The 1994 Executive would like to hear your opinion. Please talk about this issue. Then write to us at the RECORDER or answer the following question in the space provided, bring it to the January 17th, 1995 luncheon or send it in.
Thanks and have a happy new year.