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Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


FISHER, Lisa R., Escalante Mines Inc, 1530 Alkire Street, Golden, CO 80401,

The Colorado Scientific Society has a rich and varied history, its past and current members are among the highly recognized names who have greatly contributed to the development of geologic science. The presentations and discussions in this session have given only a taste of this development in Colorado, and of some of the people who made this possible.

To put this into perspective, the founding of the CSS in 1882 occurred at a time when modern science was just emerging. Lyell’s foundations of geology and Darwin’s evolution theory, both developed in the time span of 1830-1860, spurred the exuberence of the Western U.S. Geological Surveys and Paleontologic Expeditions. This led to the serious study of geology, which in Colorado resulted in the establisment of university programs in geology, mining, and engineering (such as at the Colorado School of Mines), and the founding of the CSS. As the science developed, CSS members were right there, in the field, advancing ideas and contributing to the groundwork that led to today’s understanding of geology.

Colorado itself seems to have been a key in this blooming of modern geology. Perhaps this was a result of the rich ores and minerals, the variety of rock types and ages exposed here, fabulous fossil beds, and the beauty of the mountains found in Colorado – all attracting scientists here to work.

In our current economy, research funding, educational projects and student support, and investment in and support for energy & minerals projects have fallen to an all-time low. Research must meet stringent guidelines for applicability to human needs or making profit, rather than research supporting the needs of science. How, then, are we going to continue to make real progress in our science? This is of importance for scientific groups and societies to address. Certainly in today’s ecomony, resources of time, money, and volunteers are in short supply. Organizations supporting science and research must cooperate, coordinate, and make efficient use of resources. The role of CSS has adapted with the times, and the Society has had ups and downs that mirror the national economy. CSS is dedicated to the advancement of our science. How, then, will our activities need to adapt to meet the needs of the next generation? A discussion of some ideas to carry us on through the next 150 years of Colorado geology is presented.

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