When I began my professional career, the pursuit of science was in a transition from a pursuit by individuals motivated by personal curiosity to a worldwide enterprise with powerful strategic and materialistic purposes. The studies of the Earth's environment that I have engaged in for over forty years, and describe in this essay, could not have been realized by the old kind of science. Associated with the new kind of science, however, was a loss of ease to pursue, unfettered, one's personal approaches to scientific discovery. Human society, embracing science for its tangible benefits, inevitably has grown dependent on scientific discoveries. It now seeks direct deliverable results, often on a timetable, as compensation for public sponsorship. Perhaps my experience in studying the Earth, initially with few restrictions and later with increasingly sophisticated interaction with government sponsors and various planning committees, will provide a perspective on this great transition from science being primarily an intellectual pastime of private persons to its present status as a major contributor to the quality of human life and the prosperity of nations.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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