Category Archives: Biography

Naming Schools after Nobel Laureates

The Washington Post recently ran a story about the late Abdus Salam, a physicist who won the Nobel Prize almost 40 years ago. The piece concerns the politics of naming a building at a Pakistani university in honour of a … Continue reading

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Tunguska’s Kulik

Leonid Kulik is probably another geologist you’ve never heard of. Well, it’s his birthday anyway, and here’s your chance to add a new name to your fact file, just in case you get that call from Jeopardy and the Remarkable … Continue reading

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Broken Crystals

Every now and then, I write a short post on a long-dead geologist whom I had never heard of before, but have discovered that it’s their birthday anniversary. I do this because it forces me to learn something about someone … Continue reading

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Charles Darwin, the Geologist

Originally posted on The Mountain Mystery:
Darwin as imagined by Hornet magazine 1871 It’s his birthday. It seems Charles Darwin’s legacy is experiencing a renaissance. Sure, some 60% of Americans vilify the man and hope he is roasting in hell.…

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Wegener’s Death and Drift’s Hiatus

Over the past few days, I’ve written about Alfred Wegener’s continental drift theory, which is celebrating its 100th year as a spunky idea that explains a lot of our geology. From mountains to earthquakes and deep sea rifts to island … Continue reading

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100 Years of Drift: Part 4

Today, we continue with Alfred Wegener and his continental drift theory. Today’s piece will not be pretty. At times, suppression of Wegener’s idea was ugly. There are a lot of reasons for the vilification. He was an outsider, a meteorologist … Continue reading

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100 Years of Drift: Part 3

In today’s blog post, we continue our story of the development of the theory of continental drift – an idea which just celebrated its 100th birthday. Before Alfred Wegener’s 1915 book on contintents in motion, a few others had the … Continue reading

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100 Years of Drift: Part 1

Fifty years ago, we finally figured out why the Earth has mountains. But one hundred years ago, Alfred Wegener had already offered an explanation – it took those extra 50 years for his grand idea to catch on. The continents, … Continue reading

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The Third Lucasian Professor

Newton was the second Lucasian Professor, holding the position founded by Henry Lucas, Cambridge’s Member of Parliament. Newton clung to the job for 33 years despite his obnoxious manners and his heretical ideas about religion. He succeeded by hiding his … Continue reading

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50 Years Ago: How the Continents Fit Together

50 years ago, on October 28, 1965, an unlikely British geophysicist made a map that set the record straight on how the world’s tectonic plates fit together. As a child, Edward Bullard was such a slow learner that his family … Continue reading

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