Home Home
contact | search | site map

Introductory Remarks

Full Text (467 Kb PDF)

This issue of the Geochemical News is devoted to geochemical research in China. The papers included in the issue are all peer reviewed, and exemplify the research achievements of our geochemistry colleagues in China. These colleagues and the Geochemical Society have the same motives for publishing these papers: 1. To illustrate the extremely high quality of Chinese geochemical research; 2. To alert Western geochemists that to stay abreast of the forefronts of their fields, they need to regularly read the Chinese literature written in English, and; 3. Perhaps most importantly, to promote collaboration among Western and Chinese geochemists.

I have made five close-to-evenly-spaced trips to China over the past 22 years, three because of research collaborations and two because of international conferences. It has been said by others before me that the economic transformation of the country over that 22-year period since my first visit has been nothing short of breathtaking and miraculous. Less well documented is the equally impressive transformation of China's basic research enterprise across the board, and particularly in geochemistry. Whereas 22 years ago many researchers in geochemistry had outdated analytical equipment, many labs in China today have state-of-the-art mass spectrometers, electron microprobes, ion microprobes, and the like, most as part of state key laboratories, including two (Environmental Geochemistry and Ore Deposit Geochemistry) in Guiyang. Government spending on research in science and technology has grown at a staggering 20% per year for over a decade. The country continues to exhibit tremendous energy and motivation to overhaul its research infrastructure, and has so far shown careful planning to develop a diversified yet balanced research portfolio in which all sciences receive close-to-equal billing. Some 1,500 individuals belong to the Chinese Society for Mineralogy, Petrology, and Geochemistry, and overall, practicing geochemists in academia and industry are approximately three to four times this number.

Each of the papers in this issue has the contact email address of the authors, provided to encourage establishment of communication between these colleagues and members of the Geochemical Society. Dr. Yong-Fei Zheng recruited the authors for this issue. Letters may be directed to him to identify a geochemist who specializes in your particular field. The impetus for this project came from Dr. Martin Goldhaber, Past President of the Geochemical Society. You will profit by reading these papers, and I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities to collaborate with our colleagues in the Chinese geochemistry community.