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Bruce Yardley appointed Chief Geologist

Bruce Yardley (Leeds University) has been appointed Chief Geologist by The Radioactive Waste Management Directorate (RWMD) of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Chartership news

Chartership Officer Bill Gaskarth reports on a projected new logo for use by CGeols, advice on applications and company training schemes

Climate Change Statement Addendum

The Society has published an addendum to 'Climate Change: Evidence from the Geological Record' (November 2010) taking account of new research

Cracking up in Lincolnshire

Oliver Pritchard, Stephen Hallett, and Timothy Farewell consider the role of soil science in maintaining the British 'evolved road'

Critical metals

Kathryn Goodenough* on a Society-sponsored hunt for the rare metals that underpin new technologies

Déja vu all over again

As Nina Morgan Discovers, the debate over HS2 is nothing new...

Done proud

Ted Nield hails the new refurbished Council Room as evidence that the Society is growing up

Earth Science Week 2014

Fellows - renew, vote for Council, and volunteer for Earth Science Week 2014!  Also - who is honoured in the Society's Awards and Medals 2014.

Fookes celebrated

Peter Fookes (Imperial College, London) celebrated at Society event in honour of Engineering Group Working Parties and their reports

Geology - poor relation?

When are University Earth Science departments going to shed their outmoded obsession with maths, physics and chemistry?

Nancy Tupholme

Nancy Tupholme, Librarian of the Society and the Royal Society, has died, reports Wendy Cawthorne.

Power, splendour and high camp

Ted Nield reviews the refurbishment of the Council Room, Burlington House

The Sir Archibald Geikie Archive at Haslemere Educational Museum

You can help the Haslemere Educational Museum to identify subjects in Sir Archibald Geikie's amazing field notebook sketches, writes John Betterton.

Top bananas

Who are the top 100 UK practising scientists?  The Science Council knows...

Ledges legend

TedGeoscientist 22.09 October 2012

Steve Etches - the legend of the Ledges - has been collecting, preparing and describing fossils from the Kimmeridge Clay for much of his life. He has now amassed a huge collection, which he keeps at his home in Kimmeridge and which is available by appointment to researchers and visitors. But this arrangement is far from ideal. For over 18 years Steve – possibly the most highly regarded amateur geologist in Britain today - has been trying to establish, in Dorset, a new home for his amazing and highly specific museum of Kimmeridgian life.

Make no mistake about it - the Etches Collection is renowned worldwide and has global scientific significance as the single largest collection of macrofossils from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation outside the Natural History Museum (which in many respects it greatly outstrips). Much of the material it contains is undescribed and completely new to science. It is a unique resource - not only to academics, but also to the County of Dorset, the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site on which it sits, and the public.

Problem is, it remains a private museum in a converted garage - albeit one curated to the highest standards, with strict humidity control. For this material to be described, it needs to reside in a museum with Registered Museum status. For the public to appreciate it properly, in order for schools and universities to use the collection as part of their teaching, the collection has to be somewhere that can accommodate them.

There have been many disappointments along the way, but as I reveal in this month's second feature, it finally looks as though the Etches Collection is about to get the new, independent home it deserves.

A bid has been lodged with the Heritage Lottery Fund which, if successful, will set in train a series of events that will culminate in a newly built custom-designed museum on a donated greenfield site in the very village where Steve has made his home. The land is secure, the planning is secure; and there have been no objections from the local community, which supports the project 100%.

We cannot conceive of a project better prepared, with more powerful moral and matching financial support, or that is more worthwhile, or more eagerly anticipated than this. If the HLF were to fail at this late stage to back Steve’s nigh-on 20-year fight for funding, this magazine at least would have to question what exactly that body thinks it is there to do.