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Thank you!

stytryGeoscientist, in partnership with our publisher, CenturyOne, and through the respected opinion survey company Research by Design, has just concluded its first reader survey for some years.  It is the most extensive we have ever conducted, and the first to be run by an independent organisation.  All data are now in, and in a future issue we shall reveal its conclusions at greater length.  I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you who participated at any stage – as part of the telephone survey, as one of a focus group, or in response to our emails.

It would be premature to reveal what we already know from the qualitative survey, but for the moment the headline news is that the second stage, (three emails to all Fellows, inviting you to click on a link and complete an online questionnaire) netted 3,117 results - a truly staggering response rate of 28%.

Now – if you have never had the experience of commissioning an opinion survey, 28% might not sound very high.  But let me tell you that it is more than merely good; it is almost unheard-of.  Putting it into local context, it is about three times as great as the response rate to our annual elections.  One might be tempted to conclude that the Fellowship cares three times as much about Geoscientist as it does about who is President.

At the very least, you clearly feel motivated about your Fellowship magazine, and that gladdens my heart as your Editor.  It could mean of course that you have a large number of diverse complaints; but from what we already know from the qualitative survey, I am confident that this is not going to be the story.

Since its first issue, following the merger of GSL and IG in 1991, Geoscientist has been editorially independent - the cornerstone of its success as a magazine.  It is the magazine of the Fellowship, not ‘the Society’ - it's not 'Pravda', in other words.  The Trustees continue to show great confidence in me, the Editorial Board under Editor in Chief Peter Styles, and in you the Fellowship, in that they are prepared to spend such a lot of your money on an organ of communication over which they hold no sway.  Such maturity and sophistication does them great credit, which we are duty-bound to return by continuing to provide you with a magazine you can trust, which engages your interest, and reinforces your loyalty. 

This survey will inform our development, now and into the more distant future, when inevitably the magazine will find itself entrusted to other hands than mine.  Thank you once again.


[email protected], @TedNield @geoscientistmag