Momentous changes in geology came about in the early 1960s. These were partly the result of the application of discoveries in the basic sciences (physics, chemistry) over the previous six decades but also technological innovations made during and after World War II.
The background to the origin of such changes – the efforts of the 'pioneers' who changed geology to earth science – has been neglected by historians of science and is the subject of this book. It analyses how the modern subject was able to evolve. Traditional geology is overwhelmingly historical while earth science has something extra to offer. This is the practice of what Lord Rayleigh memorably referred to as 'outdoor physics' (and by extension, chemistry), applied directly to the earth.
- Andrija Mohorovicic (1857-1936) Croatian seismologist
- Richard Oldham (1858-1936) Irish geologist
- Ernest Anderson (1877-1960) Scottish geologist
- Milutin Milankovic (1879-1958) Serbian mathematician/polymath
- Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) German meteorologist
- Karl von Terzhaghi (1883-1963) Austro-Hungarian/USA soil engineer
- Norman Bowen (1887-1956) Canadian geologist/chemist
- Inge Lehmann (1888-1993) Danish seismologist
- Beno Gutenberg (1889-1960) German-USA seismologist
- Arthur Holmes (1890-1965) English geologist/chemist
- Harold Urey (1893-1981) USA geochemist
- Ralph Bagnold (1896-1990) English independent scientist
- Sir Patrick Blackett (1897-1974) English physicist
Mike Leeder is an Emeritus Professor at UEA Norwich and a former Head of Earth Sciences at Leeds University. His last book, Measures for Measure: Geology and the Industrial Revolution was recognised as an Outstanding Academic Text by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ALA).