Geoscience is a synthetic basic and applied science that includes several specific disciplines, including geology, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography, etc. Each of these disciplines has enjoyed a rather long history of development in the Republic of China. Because, in the past, researches in these fields were undertaken in hand with our country’s overall economic development, they tended mostly toward applied results, and purely academic results were rather limited. But, during the past two decades, researchers have worked hard, with the strong support of concerned government agencies, to carry out all sorts of overall large-scale research, for example, on earthquakes, monsoons, the Kuroshio current, etc. No matter whether in our local studies or in our international survey researches, these research plans have yielded a rich harvest of solid results.
In the past, scholarly articles in these specific academic disciplines generally tended to be published in periodicals of local academic associations or departments and graduate institutes, which suffered from an insufficient supply of manuscripts, limited publication quantity, and small circulation. In view of this situation, the Natural Science Division of the National Science Council invited responsible scholars from each concerned academic association to come together to discuss the establishment of a journal able to represent our country’s achievements in geosciences. With this combining of the specific fields, the supply of manuscripts would be ample and the standard of strictness of the manuscript review system would be strengthened; thus, this journal’s contents would be well-qualified to be recorded in SCI. In this way, developments in domestic geoscience would keep pace with those in domestic mathematics, physics and chemistry. The Chinese Meteorology Society, Geology Society, Topology Society, etc., all generously approved of this plan and cooperated in the official publication of Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, or simply TAO, in March 1990.
Ever since its inception, TAO has enjoyed steady growth; each year four issues have appeared. Scholars from various concerned fields were recommended to set up a Consulting Committee to cooperate and solve the journal administrative matters during the early period of publication, and the Editorial Committee reviewed manuscript submissions according to strict academic standards. In recent years, TAO has encouraged scholars to publish their large-scale National Science Council research plan results in special monographs, in order to facilitate interactive learning by discussion. From another perspective, TAO has received special attention from international scholars for its publication of many important local survey materials and discussions of causes and results. Consequently, we have received many letters requesting to subscribe as well as many letters from other geoscience journals requesting journal exchanges.
For even more effective operations, the Consulting Committee of the Chinese Geoscience Union recommended harnessing all the forces in geosciences by establishing an office, appointing personnel and purchasing special software equipment, so TAO contents could be more quickly recorded in SCI. In this way, too, TAO would become the main academic journal for local environmental research by local scholars, and would provide a complete record of developments in geoscience in our country. In addition, the Union could more effectively endeavor to harness scholars in the various concerned disciplines to work together in actively developing overall geoscience research projects to meet all sorts of environmental problems of the 21st century. In these ways, it was thought that TAO could improve the standard of academic research in geosciences in this country as well as improve the quality of people’s life here.
On September 29, 1992, the Union received Ministry of the Interior approval to form; then, on January 16, 1993, a large inaugural convention was held to establish the Union. The name “Chinese Geoscience Union” was formally adopted.