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The new IUGG Union Working Group on History

The IUGG Union Working Group on History (WGH) was established in November 2012. Its purpose is to raise the historical consciousness of IUGG Association members and to help preserve IUGG scientific and institutional history.

As one of its main tasks, the WGH will promote historical content in Union and Association scientific sessions and will sponsor stand-alone history sessions at Union General Assemblies, with emphasis placed on the 100th anniversary of the IUGG in 2019. The WGH will encourage publication of historical articles by Association members in relevant journals, in books, and on websites. As a secondary role, the WGH will serve as a consultant to the IUGG and Association leadership on the preservation of institutional and scientific records.

The WGH Executive Committee consists of ten members, one member representing each of the eight IUGG Associations and two professional Historians of Science. The representative of IAHS is dr. Maurits Ertsen from Delft University of Technology. Find out more about him at http://bit.ly/Uefhis.

During the upcoming IUGG-2015 meeting in Prague, the WGH will hold a Union Symposium on "Revolutions in Earth Sciences: from different spheres to a common globe". During the past 100 years the vast majority of scientific studies, whether stand-alone or internationally coordinated, were influenced by at least three kinds of revolution: the move from localized data collection to gathering large volumes of data from global networks and their processing by electronic computers; innovations in observational technologies, e.g. from point measurements via moving platforms on ships and aircraft to global networks of polar orbiting and geostationary satellites and the use of robotic instruments; and radically new lines of thought such as, e.g., the global movement of entire continents (plate tectonics), indirectly inferred models of the Earth's internal structure, or the dominant role of atmospheric and ocean eddies in weather and climate. Nine overview presentations will illustrate important milestones in all the scientific spheres.

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