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Online Debates

What is an online debate?

The Society is a forum for the exchange and challenge of ideas in Earth science.

Most of the time such debates can take place within the system of peer-reviewed literature.  However on occasions the "grey" literature has to come to the rescue of the "white".

On rare occasions ruling theories in a particular field can seem to many scientists to have become so dominant that the presence of referees favourable to these ruling theories on both grant-giving and publication review boards stifles free debate of those hypotheses by bona fide scientists.

On these occasions it is useful to air those ideas in organs of publication that are not subject to Peer review.

This website and the Fellowship magazine Geoscientist are such fora.  From time to time we therefore operate a peer-free (but moderated!) online debate between two principal spokespersons from the opposition and the establishment.  The debates usually begin, of course, with a strident piece from the opposition, and this is published in the hope of flushing from the covers an articulate defender of the ruling theory.

Three such debates have been held so far - one on Mantle Plumes (2003) another on the age of the Chicxulub Crater (2004) and most recently the Origin of the Caribbean Plate (2009).

If you think you know of an area of geoscience which fits this model, please email the editor - ted.nield@geolsoc.org.uk.

Ted Nield NUJ FGS
Editor, Geoscientist & Geoscientist Online