‘As chimney-sweepers, come to dust’: a history of palynology to 1970
William A. S. Sarjeant, 2002. "‘As chimney-sweepers, come to dust’: a history of palynology to 1970", The Earth Inside and Out: Some Major Contributions to Geology in the Twentieth Century, David R. Oldroyd
Download citation file:
A brief overview is given of the various fields of palynology, their practical applications being stressed. Particular attention is thereafter paid to the history of palaeopalynology, here considered as the study of pre-Quaternary palynomorphs. This is presented as three stages: the period of pioneer discoveries (to 1918); years of slow progress (1919–1945); and a post-World War II period of accelerating discoveries (1946–1970). Developments concerning the different groups of palynomorphs during these periods are successively presented, under six headings: spores and pollen; dinoflagellates (and acritarchs); prasinophytes; scolecodonts; chitinozoans; and other palynomorphs. The changes brought about in palynology by improving preparation techniques and microscopical equipment are stressed. A brief overview is attempted concerning the developments since 1970, consequent upon ever-expanding research, new preparation techniques and new technology. As conclusion, an overview is presented of the history of palynology and likely future developments are discussed.
Figures & Tables
This volume is a collection of papers on the history of twentieth century geology, of which eight were presented at a Symposium organized by the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO) for the International Geological Congress at Rio de Janeiro in 2000.
The book offers a conspectus of selected developments of twentieth century geology. It has grown from largely a field discipline, chiefly concerned with rocks at the Earth's surface, to one that extends to the planet's interior, and to space beyond. New ideas, instruments, and techniques have extended the scope of earth science to the macro and the micro. Theories abound. One paper raises some of the social and political problems faced by modern geology.
The volume is intended as a prolegomenon to some future synthetic understanding of twentieth century earth sciences. It should appeal to a wide range of geoscientists and historians of science.