Research activities focusing on the history and philosophy of various sciences are rather heterogeneous. Some disciplines, such as medicine, mathematics, and astronomy, have numerous noteworthy compendia and even specialized journals where papers on their respective history and philosophy can be published. The situation in geophysics, meteorology, and other subdivisions of the geosciences is less favourable. In this essay it is shown that research in the history and philosophy of these sciences requires profound knowledge of many disciplines, including the geosciences. The author intends not only to acquaint a larger circle of geophysicists with the necessity of studying historical aspects in geophysics, but also to stimulate colleagues in the history and philosophy of sciences to contribute to the history of geosciences through their own writings. It is hoped that many scholars in the field of the history and philosophy of science will use the history of geosciences for discussing and studying their own respective fields. The historical commission established in the IAGA deserves the ardent support of researchers in the field, and the establishment of similar commissions or subcommissions in the other associations of IUGG is to be much desired.
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