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The Shaping of Scientific Knowledge Among Gentlemanly Specialists
Author: Martin J. S. Rudwick
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
"Arguably the best work to date in the history of geology."—David R. Oldroyd, Science "After a superficial first glance, most readers of good will and broad knowledge might dismiss [this book] as being too much about too little. They would be making one of the biggest mistakes in their intellectual lives. . . . [It] could become one of our century's key documents in understanding science and its history."—Stephen Jay Gould, New York Review of Books "Surely one of the most important studies in the history of science of recent years, and arguably the best work to date in the history of geology."—David R. Oldroyd, Science
"A fine treatment of this critical time in geology's history. Although it goes against our standard histories of the field, Laudan defends her views convincingly. Her style is direct, with carefully reasoned personal opinions and interpretations clearly defined."—Jere H. Lipps, The Scientist
From December 1811 to February 1812, massive earthquakes shook the middle Mississippi Valley, collapsing homes, snapping large trees midtrunk, and briefly but dramatically reversing the flow of the continent’s mightiest river. For decades, people puzzled over the causes of the quakes, but by the time the nation began to recover from the Civil War, the New Madrid earthquakes had been essentially forgotten. In The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes, Conevery Bolton Valencius remembers this major environmental disaster, demonstrating how events that have been long forgotten, even denied and ridiculed as tall tales, were in fact enormously important at the time of their occurrence, and continue to affect us today. Valencius weaves together scientific and historical evidence to demonstrate the vast role the New Madrid earthquakes played in the United States in the early nineteenth century, shaping the settlement patterns of early western Cherokees and other Indians, heightening the credibility of Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa for their Indian League in the War of 1812, giving force to frontier religious revival, and spreading scientific inquiry. Moving into the present, Valencius explores the intertwined reasons—environmental, scientific, social, and economic—why something as consequential as major earthquakes can be lost from public knowledge, offering a cautionary tale in a world struggling to respond to global climate change amid widespread willful denial. Engagingly written and ambitiously researched—both in the scientific literature and the writings of the time—The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes will be an important resource in environmental history, geology, and seismology, as well as history of science and medicine and early American and Native American history.
Marrying the Signal from Computer Models and Biological Proxies
Author: Mark Williams
Publisher: Geological Society of London
This book unites climate modelling, palaeoceanography and palaeontology to address fundamental events in the climate history of Earth over the past 600 million years. Understanding the 'tipping points' that have lead to rapid changes in the Earth's climate is vitally important with the realization that humans modify global climate. In an effort to better understand past and future climate change, general circulation models have become the forerunners of attempts to simulate future climate. The central message of the book is that general circulation models tested with geological data in an iterative 'ground truth' process provide the best estimates of the Earth's ancient climate.
Secord gives a dazzlingly detailed account of this scientific trench warfare and its social consequences. One ends up with a marvellous feeling for the major taxonomic enterprises in Darwin's younger day: mapping, ordering, conquering 'taming the chaos" of the strata. All of these of course had social and imperial ramifications; and Secord mentions geology's moral appeal (in supporting a divinely-stratified Creation) to a beleaguered elite intent on subduing the lower orders. Originally published in 1986. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.