Recent events show that we have in front of us rocky times of uncertain worldwide leadership and this will change the world in directions that are not healthy for our planet. As geochemists, we have the skills to address major human impact issues like pollution, ocean acidification or climate change and we need to stand together doing so.
My two years as EAG President have passed quickly with a mixture of very stimulating and at times highly time-consuming challenges, as well as rewards. This would not have worked without the steadfast help of Marie-Aude Hulshoff, our Business Manager; she is the perfect glue that holds us together at the EAG. Thanks, Marie-Aude.
Over the last two years I am proud to say that we strengthened our already good collaboration with the Geochemical Society (GS) and expanded our bilateral agreements (MOUs) that my predecessor Chris Ballentine started to now include several European and international societies (most recently including the International Association for GeoChemistry and the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits). These agreements provide our members and our MOU societies members with more benefits and advantages. We also strive to reach more geochemists in under-represented regions of the world through our Distinguished Lecture Program in Eastern Europe and EAG-GS Outreach Series in Africa. We support early career geochemists through our Student and Ambassador Programs, and we built a database of PhD/MSc/BSc programs and courses in geochemistry as well as links to available bursaries. We need your help to make this resource even better so please become active and send us your input.
Finally, one initiative and new member benefit I am particularly proud of is the launch of Geochemical Perspectives Letters (GPL), a new short-length style geochemical journal written, edited and published by and for the geochemical community. We launched it in 2015 and together with the continually successful Geochemical Perspectives, we have created a new home for excellent geochemical science publishing.
For me the highlight each year is naturally the Goldschmidt Conference. In 2015, I helped Eric Oelkers and the Cambridge Publications team organize and run the Prague meeting, and seeing its success was a happy moment of achievement. On the other hand, in 2016 I was terrified as I had to give a President’s plenary talk in front of a highly diverse geochemical audience. However, the pre-talk stress was rewarded with joy and happiness through positive reactions received after the talk (those who thought otherwise would be wise to not say so and let me continue to dream).
My EAG President’s tenure also coincided with my gradual move from the University of Leeds (UK) to the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ, Potsdam, Germany). This transition is a long endeavor that is testing my patience and increasing my airmiles.
As of January 2017, I will pass EAG’s rudder to Bernard Marty. I am sure he will, in light of the challenges that face us as geochemists in the near and far future, lead the EAG in new fruitful directions that I am excited to see happen.
About the author:
Liane G. Benning is Professor in Interface Geochemistry at the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) and Professor of experimental biogeochemistry at the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds. Her research focuses on the quantitative elucidation of geochemical reaction mechanisms in inorganic and biogenic systems.
Liane has served the EAG Council since 2009 and is co-founding editor for Geochemical Perspectives and Geochemical Perspectives Letters.