terça-feira, 11 de janeiro de 2011

Pouco mudou desde 1969 ?

Relendo o volume do International Geochemical Exploration Symposium, realizado em Denver, Colorado em 1968, encontrei o artigo de Ralph Erickson, geoquímico do USGS "U.S. Geological Survey program in geochemical exploration research". Resolvi transcrever a introdução, pois me pareceu atualíssima, mesmo 40 anos depois.

(...) My topic is the USGS program in geochemical exploration research but I can't resist this excelent opportunity to first mention a few things that have been bothering me for a number of years.
I think it is high time that people stop selling applied geochemistry short. I realize that this may be largely a sympathetic audience to make this statement to, but I think we, the practicioners of the art, are at least partly to blame. For years we have been emphasizing and reemphasizing that geochemical techniques are only a tool - and a dangerous tool at that. Many of us have heard phrases such as "geochemical prospecting doesn't work" - "it's misleading, crude" - "not really very scientific". I, for one, am tired of listening to such nonsense. It's about time we look at geochemical exploration techniques in the proper perspective. The fault is not applied geochemistry but with us - with the geologists and engineers who are inadequately trained or inexperienced in this field. It's like any other specialized discipline in geology; inadequate training, or inexperience, or lack of understanding leads not only to poor results but to costly mistakes. Now we don't say that paleontology is no good because somebody misidentifies fossils or make the wrong stratigraphic correlation. We don't say that petrography or petrology is no good because somebody is not competent with the petrographic microscope or misidentifies rocks. Then why is applied geochemistry so widely criticized or looked at with suspicion ? Let's grow up We must do a better job of educating not only management but the geological profession as a whole to what exploration is all about - what a powerful and exciting tool it really is. (...)

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