In June 1967, the Earth Science Division of the Royal Society of Canada held a symposium to assess the country’s activities and accomplishments in the earth sciences and to provide some guidelines and predictions for the future. The papers given at the symposium and collected in this volume are devoted chiefly to the topics of university teaching, basic research, and applied science. The authors, all eminent figures in the field of Canadian earth sciences and mineral industry, trace the trends of the past few years, indicate how and why they developed, and analyse the problems encountered.
An introductory paper by three senior scientific policy makers describes the organization of the earth sciences in Canada today. Included here are the recommendations for an amalgamation of all the sciences dealing with the solid earth and a freer interchange of scientists between government, industrial, and university laboratories. This essay also points out that universities have a great deal of influence and industry comparatively little upon the expenditure of large sums of government money in support of the earth sciences.
Following this, twelve papers review developments in most of the major sub-disciplines: petrology, stratigraphy, palaeontology, geochronology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, and geophysics, together with their application to engineering projects and the search for petroleum, metallic mineral deposits, and ground water. Although a certain amount of planned overlap brings out different opinions on specific points, there is concurrence on major matters which includes the almost unanimous agreement that the earth sciences in Canada are passing through a critical period of transition as the reconnaissance phase draws to a close and an emphasis on quantification develops.