In Our Time

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, History

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History 12
Society & Culture 68

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of ideas


Early Geology

April 12th, 2012

Episode 202 of 552 episodes

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the emergence of geology as a scientific discipline. A little over two hundred years ago a small group of friends founded the Geological Society of London. This organisation was the first devoted to furthering the discipline of geology - the study of the Earth, its history and composition. Although geology only emerged as a separate area of study in the late eighteenth century, many earlier thinkers had studied rocks, fossils and the materials from which the Earth is made. Ancient scholars in Egypt and Greece speculated about the Earth and its composition. And in the Renaissance the advent of mining brought further insight into the nature of objects found underground and how they got there. But how did such haphazard study of rocks and fossils develop into a rigorous scientific discipline?With:Stephen PumfreySenior Lecturer in the History of Science at Lancaster UniversityAndrew ScottProfessor of Applied Palaeobotany at Royal Holloway, University of LondonLeucha VeneerResearch Associate at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester.Producer: Thomas Morris.

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