Whilst on my travels, I have been thinking a little bit about what the AAPG Distinguished Lecturer tour stands for and, therefore, what are the responsibilities of those chosen to take part in it. Now this is not meant as a direct criticism of the AAPG in general of the scheme in particular, but as far as I know the people selected to fulfill this role are not provided with any formal remit as to what they are expected to do (and what not to do), what they should (and should not) present on, etc…
As I said in an earlier post, my trip to Colorado School of Mines clearly highlighted to me the importance of engaging younger scientists in petroleum geosciences; many of you have probably sat, glazed-eyed, on the first Sunday of AAPG ACE, listening to the current President talk about the demographic gap that faces the oil industry. I believe that the AAPG tour can, therefore, help with this, by showing younger scientists some exciting area of geology that they may never previously have thought about. Or simply that the enthusiasm of the speakers, irrespective of age, field-of-expertise or ‘geo-leaning’ (i.e. industry vs. academia), can help to inspire them. On the other hand, speaking to older audience provides an opportunity to show them new technologies and techniques, and let them see that younger geoscientists are as truly passionate about the oil industry and related research as they were back then, and likely are still now.
Finally, I guess that I am supposed to fulfill a role as an advocate of AAPG, extolling the virtues of the joining and being in the association. I mentioned this at the start of a couple of my talks last week, but I must admit that I forgot today being my talk in Chevron. Like many people, my experience with the AAPG is mixed; I like it’s passion for promoting ‘the industry’ to a global audience, but I sometimes find it a little unwieldy and US-focused. My personal feelings aside, I think it would have been cool if the AAPG had provided me with some pens, badges, mousemats, t-shirts, etc, that I could throw, rock star-style, into the audience. Something for the future perhaps?
In any case, if you have some thoughts on what you think the tour is about, or what it should be about, let me know!