Pięćdziesięciolecie Polskiego Towarzystwa Geologicznego 1921-1971

Kazimierz Maślankiewicz


Fifty years of activity of the Geological Society of Poland

The Geological Society of Poland has been founded in Kraków in the year 1921. The action for the establishment of the Society was promoted by Professor Władysław Szajnocha , Head of the Department of Geology of the Jagellonian University, who was elected the first President of the Society, and held this office in the years 1921—1924. Professor Karol Bohdanowicz succeded as President of the Society in th e term of office 1924-1926, and subsequently the Society was presided by Professor Jan Nowa k , who headed the ir activities for 13 years i.e. till the beginning of the Second World War in 1939. The Society suffered great losses during the nazi occupation of Poland. Many members were killed in fights, or died in prisons and concentrations camps. The latter included the eminent geologist and President of the Society, Professor Jan Nowak , who died a few days after being released from a concentration camp. The Library and the archives of the Society were plundered. However, even in this difficult period a few clandestine scientific meetings were held in the home of one of the members. The activity of the Society has been (resumed immediately after the liberation. Professor Stefan Czarnocki was elected President and Kazimierz Maślankiewicz became the secretary of the Society in 1945. The Warsaw branch of the Society resumed their activity in the following year, headed then by Professor Jan Samsonowicz. The list of chief officers of the Society in given in Table 1 [Presidents and secretaries of the Geological Society of Poland]. Since the beginning of the existence of the Society their activity has been carried out along three main lines: scientific sessions, annual congresses and editorial work. The scientific sessions a t first held only in Kraków, were organised subsequently also in regional branches of the Society formed in Lwów (1923), Warsaw (1923), Wilno (1926) and Borysław (1928). The Lwów branch was especially active in the pre-war period. The number of members of the Society grew steadily, from 73 in 1923 to nearly 200 in 1939. A much more rapid growth of the membership began in the post-war period, and the number of membres exceeds now 1300. The Society consists presently of 7 regional branches in Gdańsk, Upper Silesia, Kraków, Kielce, Warsaw, Wrocław, and Jasło. Moreover, smaller local groups are active at Szczecin, Lublin, Piła, Olsztyn and Zielona Góra. The offices of the Society are seated in Kraków. Since 1963 several Specialized Sections have been organised within the Society, namely the Section for Sedimentology, the Section for Structural Geology, the Section for Hydrogeology, the Section for Ore Genesis, the Section for Geophysics, the Section for Stratigraphy and the Section for Mathematical Geology. The Sections are grouping members according to their lines of research, working on an interregional basis. The establishment of the Specialized Sections greatly stimulated the scientific activity of the Society. During the 50 years of existence of the Society 42 Congresses were held in various regions of Poland (Table 3). The congresses were devoted to problems of regional geology, to research on Pleistocene and to problems of mineral deposits. The number of participants amounts in the last years to 200—300. Numerous geologists from abroad participated in some of the Congresses. The Society publishes the journal „Rocznik Polskiego Towarzystwa Geologicznego” (Annales de la Société Géologique de Pologne), containing papers of Polish and foreign authors. All papers published in Polish are accompanied by summaries in English, Russian or French while papers likely to arise a wider interest are published in one of these languages, with a Polish summary. The Society published also a few regional and palaeontological non-periodical monographs. Moreover, the cooperation of the Central Geological Board and of the Geological Survey made possible the publication of comprehensive guides of excursions of the annual Congresses of the Society. The Society maintains a Library, steadily growing, on the basis of exchange of publications. The Annales de la Société Géologique de Pologne is exchanged with more than 400 societies and institutions throughout the world, and thus the Library of the Society is the second largest in Poland in the field of geology, ranking immediately after the Library of the Geological Survey. The Society is active in the scientific life both at home and abroad. Delegates of the Society participate in international and national geological congresses, meetings and conventions. Foreign geologists participate in the congresses of the Society, and the honorary membership of the Geological Society of Poland has been conferred to several outstanding geologists (Table 2). The Society benefits from the financial assistance of the Polish Academy of Sciences, which is providing means for publishing the Annales de la Société Géologique de Pologne. The past activity of the Geological Society of Poland, and the steady development during the 50 years of existence, reviewed on the occasion of the half-centennary jubilee permit to look in the future with confidence and optimism.

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