Wing-Huen Ip, Arne Richter & Cheng-Hoon Khoo
An account of the generous assistance and advices given to AOGS during its incipient period by friends across the world.
After making the decision to go ahead with the first AOGS meeting in Singapore in 2004, there was a hesitation about when it should be. This is because the European Geophysical Society (EGS) annual meetings were held in April and the AGU meetings in December each year, it meant that July/August would be the only time window if we don’t want to be too close to these two major meetings. Would this be a good choice? When this question was posed to Dr. Arne Richter, then Executive Secretary of EGS, Arne’s response was that any time is a good time. The most important thing is to get the meeting started. This is because, he explained, there is a tendency for the Earth science community to be gradually divided into blocs, namely, the American bloc and the European bloc. If the Asian researchers do not join forces to integrate themselves, they would be fragmented and sucked into these two blocs and be able to play leadership role in neither regional nor international science. Considering the recent development in global affairs, Arne’s opinion is certainly prophetic.
If we look carefully, we will find that the initial organization of AOGS and its bottom-up structure are very similar to those of EGS (and now the European Geophysical Union) thus indicating a strong lineage between our two societies. As a matter of fact, this early history has paved the way for thriving cooperation between AOGS and EGU in the form of joint sessions and scientific workshops. Let us hope that the good will and unselfish support represented by Dr. Arne Richter will always be remembered and continued.
We should also pay tribute to the small group of scientists who made contributions to the initial planning and organization of AOGS whose names you will find in the chapters to follow. Some of them might be surprised at the scope and strength of the Society. But there should be no surprise at all if they know the dedication and hard work by our members either as participants or organizers of the scientific sessions, the AOGS Council members, the many donors to the Society, and last but not least, the staff members of the Secretariat Office. We thank you all.