A personal tribute to Mordeckai Magaritz, 1944-1993
My first contact with Mordeckai Magaritz was in the summer of 1972, when he wrote me a letter asking about doing post-doctoral research at Caltech. Mordeckai was just finishing up his Ph.D. thesis Carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of carbonate rocks from Israel at the Weizmann Institute of Science under the direction of Joel Gat. Little did I realize at the time that Mordeckai had in fact analyzed virtually every type of limestone and dolomite in Israel, including a variety of non-sedimentary occurrences, and that he had basically delineated all of the isotopic variations in these kinds of rocks throughout the entire country. Thus, his Ph.D. thesis became a hallmark of the Magaritz approach to science, namely, picking an important problem and attacking it with careful sampling and data collection on a massive scale. Also, because of this, he and I later got along quite well together, inasmuch as I also believed that the really lasting contributions in geochemistry are not necessarily the scientific interpretations (which can come and go), but the discovery of new phenomena, backed up by accurate analyses of carefully collected and documented samples, from areas with relatively straightforward geological relationships and good outcrops.
© 1994 National Council for Research and Development.