Barbara L. Dutrow, GSA President (July 2021 – June 2022)
Minerals Matter: Science, Technology, and Society
Streaming / Recorded
Minerals, the solid material comprising planet Earth, are within the intellectual realm of geoscientists but are so much more fundamental—to science, technology and society. From the beginnings of humankind, Earth’s minerals have been essential for artistic expression and technological advances, as well as for the evolution and well-being of society. Prior to written language, paintings made of mineral pigments adorned caves. Personal adornment exploited a wide variety of mineral gemstones and continues today. The advent of human-produced fire owes it source to two minerals, pyrite and flint. Early Homo sapiens were the first mineralogists, separating different minerals into useful tools based on their physical properties such as identifying those minerals that perfectly fractured when worked. Utilization of different minerals through melting, smelting or physical manipulation, defines the Ages of Man: Stone, Bronze, Iron, and Technology.