New adventures, like ship launchings, traditionally inspire windy speeches and lofty prose. With stirring fanfare, principles are laid down, goals are advanced, and hopes for a bright future are optimistically offered. So it is with Oceanography Magazine, which slips down the ways with this issue, launched with a determination to serve and the resolution to persist.
The purpose of this magazine is to promote, advance, and chronicle all aspects of ocean science and its applications. In more expansive terms, the magazine is intended to serve as the conversational arm and sounding board of The Oceanography Society. How best to accomplish such a sweeping objective is an open matter, worthy of long deliberation, and any path embarked upon is subject to mid-course corrections. As editor, I would presume only to set the initial heading for this magazine, to get us free of the land; thereafter the currents of the Society must determine our progress on the charts.
One thing is certain at this stage: Oceanography Magazine will speak for all its constituents. Associate editors will represent the traditional disciplines. Graduate student activities, computer applications, and instrument developments will receive special coverage. The magazine will feature peer-reviewed, short articles and “Review and Comment” essays that give concise overviews of wide interest; we will avoid exhaustive treatises of limited appeal. A “Letters” section will be a regular feature, and we encourage stimulating correspondence. We welcome information about the activities of other ocean-oriented societies, in the United States and elsewhere, and we would especially like to hear about the interests of our non-U.S, colleagues. Guest comments and featured opinions will share this editorial page, entitled “Quarterdeck” after that fabled place of introspection and action. Here we will set forth aspirations, exercise imaginations, offer constructive criticism, and, on occasion, parley with Ahab himself.
Looking beyond the practical benefits, this magazine, wisely used, will also engender intangible assets that are difficult to define but important to accrue. Perhaps the most important will be a maturing professional pride, manifested by a vigorous community of oceanographers willing to set its own agenda and pursue its own goals. Oceanography Magazine, modest in inception but not in ambition, provides a platform from which we can speak with one voice and therefore with amplified conviction. I hope these pages will raise spirits, enhance camaraderie, and bear the standard for grand ideas.
So welcome aboard, and lend a hand aft, there!
— David A. Brooks