Thoroughly revised and expanded from the 2012 edition (twice the length, almost double the number of pictures) this book pays tribute to one of the world's first environmentalists, a man ahead of his time. James Hutton (1726-1797) developed a grand theory of the Earth in which he tried to make sense of a lifetime of observation and deduction about the way in which our planet functions. For example, he connected temperature with latitude. His measurements, with rudimentary thermometers, of temperature changes between the base and summit of Arthur's Seat, were remarkably accurate and he studied climate data from other parts of the world. A leading figure in the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment, he was also an innovative farmer, successful entrepreneur and a man with endless intellectual curiosity. The year 2026 will be the tercentenary of his birth. There will be many special events leading up to and in that year organised by The James Hutton Institute, Scotland's premier environmental and agricultural research organisation.
Alan McKirdy was formerly Head of Knowledge and Information Management at Scottish Natural Heritage. Now a freelance writer, he is the author of more than twelve geological titles for adults and children and has also published academic papers and contributed to geological text books.