A contemporary William Smith map

A contemporary William Smith map

A contemporary interpretation of William Smith’s 1815 geological map has been created by Bristol artist Rodney Harris, coloured using material collected from the actual rocks represented on Smith’s map.

New biography of James Sowerby

New biography of James Sowerby

James Sowerby (1757-1822) was an outstanding artist and natural historian, renowned for his discoveries and prodigious output of beautiful, scientific books of plants, fungi, animals, fossils and minerals, all at a key historical time: the age of Enlightenment in Great Britain. Beautifully illustrated with artwork and letter and manuscript extracts, this first full biography of Sowerby is a fascinating artistic and historical account, which extends beyond that of one key player.

The Past and Future Great Cascadian Earthquakes

The Past and Future Great Cascadian Earthquakes

Geology, ethnology, and history collaborated in the past two decades to provide us with a complete picture of the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadian subduction zone and its past high-magnitude earthquakes. As an excellent article in The New Yorker makes clear, this information could not have come at a better time, as the next big quake may strike in the next few decades and we remain woefully underprepared for its disastrous consequences.

Another “Smith” Anniversary?

Another “Smith” Anniversary?

Amidst the many events this year celebrating William Smith and the publication of his map, comes another less well-known anniversary. The acceptance of continental drift led to a seismic shift in 20th century geology, the development of the theory of plate tectonics. This was the result of many technological and conceptual advances, one of which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year: the first mathematical joining of the trans-Atlantic continents by Sir Edward Bullard, Jim Everett, and Alan Smith.