It is an honour, and a great pleasure, to become president of the European Association of Geochemistry. My first task is to thank Liane Benning for the fantastic job she has been doing over the last two years. Under her leadership, EAG has flourished as never before. The 2015 Goldschmidt conference in Prague was one of the most attended, and certainly one of the most exciting, geochemistry events of the last decade. Liane has also been central to developing EAG publications. Geochemical Perspectives (GP), founded by Liane, Eric Oelkers, Susan Stipp and Tim Elliott, and later on, Janne Blichert-Toft, recently achieved a remarkable impact factor of 8.8. Geochemical Perspectives Letters (GPL) was launched two years ago, and this new publication is already a highly praised letters journal. The business model is unique: GPL and GP are produced by geochemists for geochemists, without any interference with commercial publishers. The publications are run, fed, and evaluated by our community. EAG’s decision to invest into this new publication endeavor allows us to offer open access to GP and GPL to anyone in the world, without subscription. Authors are not required to pay publication fees to publish in GPL, although we strongly encourage those who can afford to contribute.
I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to Marie-Aude Hulshoff, EAG Business Office Manager. Marie-Aude is pivotal in keeping the EAG boat sailing at full power. Many thanks as well to Karim Benzerara, who agreed to take on the ungrateful task of treasurer. The EAG is a vibrant community that relies on unselfish individuals. These are the councillors and committee members, a list of whom can be found at www.eag.eu.com/about/council. Special mention to Rizlan Bernier-Latmani, Carsten Münker and Emily Pope, who joined us recently. We are also very grateful to outgoing councillor Ruben Kretzschmar, for several years of generous help and effort. Last but not least, I would like to recognize the lasting and substantive contributions of Chris Ballentine and Eric Oelkers, who recently finished their term in the council. Chris Ballentine served the EAG Council for nearly 10 years, as Goldschmidt Officer then as Vice-President/President/Past-President. Chris’ steady leadership and diplomacy have been inspiring. His initiatives are innumerable, but to highlight a few, he played a key role in the successful establishment of an agreement with the Geochemical Society, as well as partnerships with numerous national and international societies. Eric Oelkers has been the longest serving councillor ever with 13 years of devoted service, assuming in turn all the responsibilities within the council, including Goldschmidt Officer and Vice-President/President/Past-President. Eric has also been a co-founding editor for GP and GPL. His dedication and the vision he’s always had for EAG have allowed our society to grow tremendously, also for the benefit of the geochemistry community.
Geochemistry is blossoming in Asia, with the formidable rise of the People’s Republic of China and the outstanding geochemical community of Japan. We seek to improve relations between our respective communities as well as with others around the world. As an example, EAG has launched initiatives towards countries that have no easy access to geochemistry, with publications that are free of access restrictions, as mentioned above, and in supporting distinguished lecturers on tours of Eastern European and African capitals. We are thinking about several actions to enhance opportunities for young researchers from developing countries, such as ways to improve student participation in workshops and conferences. Your suggestions are, as always, most welcome.
The forthcoming period is special: populism is gaining momentum, raising concerns about what this might imply in terms of denying science and promoting belief rather than facts. Geochemistry is a privileged discipline in which to observe and understand how the world functions in time and space. We are continuously observing, building stories and developing models that can be tested and corrected at any moment when new data arise. I am always amazed to see what can be said, with trace elements in a microphase or with isotopic ratios at extreme precision, about processes that occurred billions of years ago, or that will take place in the future (sadly, in some cases, the all-too-near future). We are fortunate to be paid for doing a creative, non-profit job and it is time to give back to society what society has given to us. We need to stand up and inform decision makers and, more modestly but equally importantly, our neighbours around the corner.
We are now just a few months away from the next Goldschmidt conference, to be held in Paris, France, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Ville-Lumière. Antje Boetius and Marc Chaussidon are efficiently sharing the task of organizing this exciting event in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The conference will take place from 13th to 18th August 2017 and will be a great opportunity to relax in the country of culture, food, and wine, where radioactivity and the carbon cycle, among others, were first discovered. I look forward to seeing you all very soon!
Bernard Marty, EAG President
About the author:
Bernard Marty is a Professor of geochemistry at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Géologie, Université de Lorraine, and researcher at the Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques (CRPG, UMR 7358 CNRS-UL), Nancy, France.
His is interested in the geochemistry and cosmochemistry of volatile elements, notably stable isotopes and noble gases. Topics include stable isotope variations in the solar system, processes of planet formation, the origin(s) of terrestrial water and other volatiles, the geodynamical cycle of these elements, and the evolution of the atmosphere from the Hadean eon to Present. Besides mantle geochemistry, Bernard is involved in space missions such as Stardust (return to Earth of cometary grains), Genesis (analysis of the isotope composition of the solar wind), Rosetta (in situ analysis of cometary volatiles), and others.
Bernard gained a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Toulouse, France, and a Doctorat d’Etat in geochemistry at Université Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris. Bernard was co-chair of the Meteoritical Society meeting in Nancy in 2009, and chair of the Goldschmidt Conference in Prague in 2011, serving as EAG Goldschmidt Officer from 2009 to 2014. He was EAG Vice-President in 2015-2016 and will serve as EAG President for 2017-2018.