Letter from the Editor
AAPG is unique among other allied professional groups in that we are self-governing. The SEG, SPE, and others are managed by an executive director and a paid staff. While the legislative process of AAPG is certainly slow and at times cumbersome, it is a method that ensures the bylaws, rules, and procedures, reflect the aims and beliefs of its members. This is one of the things that makes AAPG membership of particular value.
The annual membership survey was completed by 2,937 or only 9.79 % of our approximately 30,000 AAPG members. This percentage is considered by Anderson Marketing Service, Inc. of Tulsa, the research group providing oversight of the survey, to be statistically significant. But the truth is, we don’t know what the majority of AAPG members think about the issues at hand. Please consider asking the colleagues you were elected to represent, their thoughts on the proposals detailed in this issue of The Delegates’ Voice. You will vote on these proposals in April at the Annual meeting. Be the voice of the membership in shaping AAPG, and don’t forget to “dance with who brung ya”.
There are forms of government more expedient than democracy. History records the successes and failures of monarchy, oligarchy, theocracy, and dictatorships. Perhaps the ideal form of leadership is the benevolent dictatorship. The person with the most knowledge and power makes the best choices for all and sees them to fruition. Time and resources are conserved when a democratic process is bypassed, and the course of action no longer depends on the decisions of a “committee”. If AAPG were run this way, we could all relax and maybe attend one of the interesting field trips or classes invariably scheduled on the first Sunday of the convention. Hmm…let me think, which will it be: turbidites on the beach near San Diego, or continental breakfast and a five-hour meeting of the House of Delegates?
Democratic rule taxes the communication and diplomatic skills of its participants. It requires supreme patience, but has the virtue of being the best way to arrive at a course of action that satisfies the majority. It is the way the founders structured our society and should be the means of its evolution to meet the demands of the changing environment for petroleum geologists. Perhaps it is not only the first “A” in AAPG, but also the “P” we should actively consider. The petroleum geologists who have steadfastly maintained membership in AAPG are our core membership. Ask service company sales reps if they routinely ignore their best customers.
The HoD is a key means of making changes that help AAPG adapt. We may sometimes observe this change proceeding at near glacial speed, but such is the natural evolution of the government of any large group. No one will remember that a change to the rules and bylaws of the AAPG took long and careful consideration. They will only remember a bad one.