History and Philosophy of Geology Division Awards

THE HISTORY of "The History of Geology Award"

Adapted from material sent by Ursula Marvin (February 2000)

With respect to naming the History of Geology Award, a little history might be of interest. Back in 1980, Ursula Marvin, Ellen Drake, and Hollis Hedberg (Chair) formed the committee that was charged with deciding whether or not the Division should give an award, and if so what it should be. The first duty was to decide whether so small a group could sustain the giving of an award every year without running out of worthy candidates within the first decade. The Committee decided the award could be sustained and that the Division should institute an award. Hollis wanted it to be a medal and said he knew of an anonymous gift that would be forthcoming to support it. Many awards, such as the Penrose, are named for benefactors, but "The Anonymous Medal" would not do, and Hollis wasn't naming the donor (although the other members of the Committee assumed it would be named for Hollis himself or his wife). So the group originally decided to name it the History of Geology Medal. But at that time, GSA management was unwilling to adopt any more medals, fearing, perhaps rightly, that it would debase the currency of their existing medals. Thus, the Committee had to choose another type of award and the anonymous gift vanished into thin air. Thus the Division has the HISTORY OF GEOLOGY AWARD and this has been in search of a name.

The History and Philosophy of Geology Division now has four awards: