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A dilemma faces geologists in the scientific societies. How can we cope with our need for improved professional status without tending to destroy scientific freedom through increased regulation? Members of the Association of Engineering Geologists have vigorously sponsored a state licensing law to regulate their field. Geologists in the other specialties feel that this legislation would divide the profession and hinder free scientific opportunity. Several Societies have condemned the proposed bill. The Pacific Section A.A.P.G. has led these groups toward more forceful action. The facilities of our Society have been used to organize an inter-society committee for the purpose of writing a registration law acceptable to all geologists. After the new committee was operative t e Pacific Section stepped out of the picture and invited the American Institute of Professional Geologists to sponsor the activity.
These Pacific Section actions were necessary under the stringent circumstances, but the result of the action will be a regrettable increase in regulation. Disassociation from this activity was accomplished at the earliest possible moment. Long-continued or often-repeated professional activity would invite surveillance and regulation of our scientific society by governmental and corporate bodies. Many leaders of the Pacific Section feel that professional activities may occasionally be necessary but are always regrettable.
We should strive to keep the American Association of Petroleum Geologists an island of scientific freedom in the sea of professional regulation.
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