Centre de Recherches
Pétrographiques et Gochimiques, 15 Rue Notre-Dame des Pauvres,
B.P. 20, 54501 Vandoeuve-lès-Nancy, France
My geostandards story began, without my being aware of it, in theSpring of 1957 when I came to the CRPG as a "stagiaire" in the "Laboratoire de Spectrographie". By a series of unexpected hazards, soon I found myself in charge of the Laboratory. The two persons who provoked these hazards are the Founder of the CRPG and his successor Prof. Marcel Roubault who founded the CRPG in 1953 and Dr. H. de La Roche who came as the Deputy Director in 1958. It is not easy to imagine today all the tremendous help and constant support, both financial and material, that I benefited under their directorships.
Even before my coming, Prof. Roubault had already prepared four in-house rock standards, three granites and one serpentine from the Vosges Mountains and was getting them analysed for major and minor elements. In addition to this start in geostandards programs, he had the foresight to order a Direct Reader with the idea of developing high-speed rock analysis. Thus, the scene and background were already set up for direct-reading spectrochemical rock analysis so common today. It was at that time I developed lithium borate fusion of rock samples and their dissolution in dilute acid; further developments in rock analysis, particularly automation of sample preparation, led to the creation of the "Service d'analyse des Roches et des Mineraux du CNRS" [SARM] in 1972.
During the years 1958 to 1966, six rock and mineral standards were prepared (GR, GA, GH, BR, Mica-Fe, Mica-Mg) all of them, except GR, are still available. This local action became a national one with the formation of an ANRT working group; six reference samples (DR-N, WN, BX-N, DT-N, GS-N, FK-N) were processed in amounts varying from 600 to 1300 kg; ten kg of a glass standard (VS-N) with 28 trace elements was also prepared. In February 1976, the ANRT members decided to transform the group into an International Working Group (IWG) starting in 1977. At the same time, I suggested starting a journal as a support for the IWG which, in its turn, prepared 13 geostandards (AN-G, BE-N, MA-N, AL-I, IF-G, AC-E, CHR-Pt+, CHR-Bkg, ZW-C, WS-E, PM-S, MDO-G, ISH-G).
The Journal was named Geostandards Newsletter; the first issue was released in February 1977. It took a year to prepare and publish it. Remember that in those days word processing and page set-up software were not easily accessible. I recall that I had to develop a page-set-up program with our laboratory minicomputer PDP/11 which was available to me only during Saturdays and Sundays. Finally, the first issue was published in the same format as it is today. More difficult was to muster the help of specialists in contributing papers to the first issue of an unknown journal. The specialists understood the need for a "journal devoted to the study and promotion of geochemical reference samples". Five hundred and fifty authors have contributed 482 papers for the 20 volumes (1977-1996), with 41 normal issues and four special issues. The impact factor of Geostandards Newsletter, despite its appellation "Newsletter" has resulted in ranking it, for most years, among the first ten geoscience journals. In short, Geostandards Newsletter has become a primary international journal in the field of geostandards
Officially, I retired in October 1994; however, I continued to work benevolently to manage the Journal and keep running the IWG. Now, with the release of the last issue (October 1996) of the 20th volume and its Supplement (Author and reference Index for the 20 volumes), I have decided to step down as the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and the "Directeur de la Publication"; at the same time, the IWG, which I can no longer manage, is dissolved. I thank, gratefully and with an indescriptive emotion, the IWG Members, Journal Subscribers, Authors, Referees and the Regional Editors without all of whom neither the Journal could have progressed nor would the IWG have promoted the use, processing and the study of geostandards.
So ends my geostandards
story, after nearly four decades, with a feeling of "something
attempted, something done".
(1996), Vol. 20 No. 2 pp. 159
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