Alfred Wegener aimed to create a revolution in science which would rank with those of Nicolaus Copernicus and Charles Darwin. After completing his doctoral studies in astronomy at the University of Berlin, Wegener found himself drawn not to observatory science but to rugged fieldwork, which allowed him to cross into a variety of disciplines. The author of the theory of continental driftthe direct ancestor of the modern theory of plate tectonics and one of the key scientific concepts of the past centuryWegener also made major contributions to geology, geophysics, astronomy, geodesy, atmospheric physics, meteorology, and glaciology. Remarkably, he completed this pathbreaking work while grappling variously with financial difficulty, war, economic depression, scientific isolation, illness, and injury. He ultimately died of overexertion on a journey to probe the Greenland icecap and calculate its rate of drift.
This landmark biographythe only complete account of the scientist’s fascinating life and workis the culmination of more than twenty years of intensive research. In Alfred Wegener, Mott T. Greene places Wegener’s upbringing and theoretical advances in earth science in the context of his brilliantly eclectic career, bringing Wegener to life by analyzing his published scientific work, delving into all of his surviving letters and journals, and tracing both his passionate commitment to science and his thrilling experiences as a polar explorer, a military officer during World War I, and a world-record–setting balloonist.
In the course of writing this book, Greene traveled to every place that Alfred Wegener lived and workedto Berlin, rural Brandenburg, Marburg, Hamburg, and Heidelberg in Germany; to Innsbruck and Graz in Austria; and onto the Greenland icecap. He also pored over archives in Copenhagen, Munich, Marburg, Graz, and Bremerhaven, where the majority of Wegener’s surviving papers are found.
Written with great immediacy and descriptive power, Alfred Wegener is a powerful portrait of the scientist who pioneered the modern concept of unified Earth science. The book should be of interest not only to earth scientists, students of polar travel and exploration, and historians but to all readers who are fascinated by the great minds of science.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.90(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.30(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Mott T. Greene is an affiliate professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington and John Magee Professor of Science and Values emeritus at the University of Puget Sound. He is the author of Geology in the Nineteenth Century: Changing View of a Changing World and Natural Knowledge in Preclassical Antiquity.
Table of Contents
1. The Boy
2. The Student
3. The Astronomer
4. The Aerologist
5. The Polar Meteorologist
6. The Arctic Explorer (1)
7. The Atmospheric Physicist (1)
8. The Atmospheric Physicist (2)
9. At a Crossroads
10. The Theorist of Continental Drift (1)
11. The Theorist of Continental Drift (2)
12. The Arctic Explorer (2)
13. The Soldier
14. The Meteorologist
15. The Geophysicist
16. From Geophysicist to Climatologist
17. The Paleoclimatologist
18. The Professor
19. Theorist and Arctic Explorer
20. The Expedition Leader
What People are Saying About This
"The definitive biography of Alfred Wegenerand a great read."
"Twenty-five years in the making, Greene's terrific biography of Wegener has absolutely no competition: it is a giant leap forward in our knowledge of Wegener's views and life. Readers will be immediately drawn into Wegener's life by the fresh, direct, and accessible writing. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of earth science, meteorology, aerology, atmospheric physics, and twentieth-century science."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
You don't often see this term applied to a scientific biography, but that's what this is. Not a boring page in the book, and academically superb