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Episodes 1978; 1(1): 20-23

Published online March 1, 1978


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.


James M. Harrison1,2

1International Council of Scientific Unions
2ICSU's Committee on Nuclear Waste Disposal

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The quadrennial International Geological Congress first met in Paris one hundred years ago this year. IUGS, its current sponsoring union and one of the three largest scientific unions in the world, was founded only seventeen years ago. Dr. James M. Harrison, first President of IUGS, blends historical perspective with personal reminiscences in a candid account of the origins of IUGS and its unique “cart before the horse” relationship with the Congress.