I enjoyed reading the thoughtful and informative interview with President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 in PAW’s May issue (“Past and President”). However, one of his answers raised something that has been an ongoing concern of mine, and I know of other graduates of Princeton’s Department of Geosciences (formerly the Department of Geological and Geophysical Sciences).
In answer to a question about campus expansion, President Eisgruber stated, “We’re going to move the environmental sciences out of Guyot Hall, then we’re going to renovate and expand Guyot for the computer science program.” This lumping of geosciences in with environmental sciences gives short shrift to one of the fundamental scientific branches — and one in which Princeton’s research has played a leading role, from the discovery of seafloor spreading by Professor Harry Hess *32 to development of the theory of plate tectonics by Professor Jason Morgan *64.
As a member of the committee that created the first Program in Environmental Studies at Princeton, I am the last person to want to diminish the importance of environmental sciences. But to classify geosciences as merely one of the environmental sciences understates its scope and its continued relevance.