Where Do We Go from Here?
After a successful HoD meeting in Long Beach, where do we go from here? HoD Chairman Lund was successful in leading the House to delete the word “Active” from our current “Active Member” moniker. This communicates to all of us that we are members of equal standing in the association. This is one step in the ongoing process of grappling with what membership means and what membership requirements should be.
Looking ahead there are many issues to discuss. What is the best way to handle the Associate Member trap where many qualified Members are stuck without voting rights? Reviewing the appropriate number of sponsors required for Membership qualification will continue as part of the great debate, as it has over the last few years. Some discussion will continue on whether Delegate terms should be limited and/or whether consecutive terms as a Delegate should be limited. The goal of all these issues is to strengthen and build our association as a fully represented, global society.
I see AAPG as a Professional Society, that being a hybrid of a scientific association and an exclusive club, as discussed by Chairman Lund’s column. AAPG clearly has a mix of the characteristics described by these end member cases. AAPG is not an exclusive group but it is a defined group organized around those interested in new knowledge about petroleum geology and associated topics.
We clearly want our society to advance the science of geology and we do that by having knowledgeable and experienced professionals as members. Requiring college level training in the principles of geology seems a reasonable requirement for a professional association. I would suggest that we are ”advancing the science of geology” as it is applied in the profession of petroleum geology. When we see the junk science or even worse, the simply emotional science that has played out on the global stage in recent years, how can we not aspire to a voice of scientific reason and experience?