AAPG is about community, and it has been since our founding Members gathered together in Tulsa, Oklahoma more than 100 years ago.
Gathering together is an important way that we build the AAPG community. The marvels of modern communication — email, social media, and the like — certainly make it easier to stay in touch. But nothing replaces getting together to meet, to talk and to build relationships, friendships, and trust.
In fact, while the reason we get together is to talk about science and how best to discover and develop oil and natural gas resources, when you look just below the surface, the reason AAPG was formed was to build professional relationships and connections. In a business like ours, there are few enterprises more important than establishing trust. And AAPG’s commitment to integrity and professionalism is why we’re structured as a professional association, not simply as a scientific society.
Integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness” or “the state of being whole and undivided.” The value of integrity in relationships has been known for millennia.
Writing to a young man named Lucilius in ancient Rome, the Stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger observed, “… it exacts of every man that he should live according to his own standards, that his life should not be out of harmony with his words, and that, further, his inner life should be of one hue and not out of harmony with all his activities. This, I say, is the highest duty and the highest proof of wisdom — that deed and word should be in accord …”
The title of this letter — one of 124 that Seneca wrote to Lucilius — is “On Practicing What You Preach.” And his admonition to Lucilius is to evaluate how his words and actions measure up. It’s easy to be a talker, far more difficult to be a doer.
Opportunities for Community
In terms of AAPG members gathering in community, this has some important implications.
First, we place a premium on scientific integrity. At AAPG meetings, our members and other professionals share their best understanding of the science underlying a particular topic, play or prospect. Those listening in the audience expect that the speaker’s work is their own and that data and concepts first presented by others are duly acknowledged.
Second, all of our attendees at an AAPG event can expect that they are entering a professional environment, one that is safe and conducive to learning, the exchange of ideas and fostering relationships built on trust. AAPG does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, creed or sexual orientation; all are welcome to engage at our meetings. This diversity actually strengthens our community.
As a professional association it is our responsibility — both individually and corporately — to uphold the values and model the behaviors conducive to accomplishing our strategic goal of advancing the science of petroleum geology. We need to do so in session rooms and on the exhibition hall floor, and we need to do so when we are visiting socially, in receptions in the convention hotel or at an offsite location.
As professionals, even when it’s off the clock, we need to conduct ourselves in a professional manner. This is what Seneca is talking about — aligning our words and actions.
Over the next several months we will have some spectacular opportunities to gather as a community of geoscientists and discuss our science and profession:
- Later this month we’ll be joining SPE and SEG for the 5th edition of the Unconventional Resources and Technology Conference in Austin, Texas.
- In August the Summer NAPE show in Houston will showcase prospects and deals from across the United States and beyond.
- Many of AAPG’s Sections will have their annual meetings in the months of September and October.
- AAPG is headed to London in mid-October for the International Conference and Exhibition, where a global organizing committee has developed a showcase event for you.
It’s about community here at AAPG. It always has been.
Won’t you join us at one of these events?
Share your knowledge, build friendships and professional relationships, model professionalism and help us forge a culture that is welcoming, safe, productive and where we practice what we preach.