Spence Titley, professor emeritus at University of Arizona, kept the audience enthralled last night at the dinner meeting of the Arizona Geological Society, where he offered a sweeping vista of the "Evolution of the Practice of Economic Geology During the 20th Century."
Spence [right, photo credit Mari Jensen, UA] has been a leading player in the field across the entire second half of that century and continues to be so, in an elder statesman role.
He characterized research and exploration following independent paths at the start of the century but by the post-WW II years, mineral discoveries were driving new research. By the end of the century, research begin driving new discoveries.
And although he didn't say it explicitly, he left me at least with the sense that there are huge new discoveries yet to be made, both in our understanding of the origin of ore bodies and in our finding new deposits.