PESGB February 2007
President’s Page- Stephen Pickering
Sir Francis Bacon once wrote in Of Studies “Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man and writing an exact man”. Bacon was an Elizabethan philosopher, statesman and essayist, who is best known for leading the scientific revolution with his then new ‘observation and experimentation’ theory, which is the way science has been conducted ever since. I am not sure whether there were conferences in the 17th century as we know them today but Bacon surely appreciated the value of discussion in developing knowledge, insight and expertise; he realised that conferences play an important role in personal and organizational development.
At the time of writing we have just completed two more highly successful conferences, PETEX 2006 and the Prospect Fair, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved: the committees, speakers, chairpersons, exhibitors, delegates and our own team in the PESGB office – thank you all very much for your time, energy and enthusiasm. Both PETEX and Prospects started small but have grown by popular demand. At PETEX 2006 we had over 2600 delegates and 120 exhibitors and I was especially gratified to see the return of some companies absent in recent years – welcome back. I also noted the quality of the technical program, with meeting rooms overflowing, so special thanks go to Dirk Smit (Shell) and his technical committee.
The Society continues to grow and this year we have a number of conferences scheduled, starting in May with DEVEX 2007, focused on field development and jointly organized with Aberdeen Formation Evaluation Society, SPE and DTI. Then, in June, the PESGB is organizing two technical sessions of the EAGE’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, the session themes being UK Exploration – Securing the Future. September sees the Society venturing overseas to Cape Town for the Africa conference, co-organized and sponsored by PetroSA and supported by the Geological Society of South Africa and the Petroleum Agency of South Africa. Finally at the end of the year we expect to host another Prospect Fair. This has become an annual event and presumably will be even bigger than the last; more details to follow. Personally speaking I hope we will also host another Geophysics conference early in 2008, the last one we held was in 2003 and there have been many new innovations since.
I can not end this editorial without mentioning the recent President’s evening at Lord’s cricket ground. The splendid evening in the Long Room was especially noticeable for the announcement of four new Honorary members of the PESGB – Rosemary Johnson Sabine, Malcolm Pattinson, Professor Dick Selley and Nick Bright. I congratulate them all, they have each contributed enormously to the success of the Society, the exploration and development of the UKCS and in Dick’s case educating generations of hopeful geoscientists – including, albeit briefly, myself.
Our new Honorary members exemplify the virtues of which Sir Francis Bacon spoke in “Of Studies”: full of knowledge, well written and ready to confer and share their knowledge with their peers, friends and colleagues. So use them as your role models and make sure you attend a PESGB conference in 2007.