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Mike Coward began his career working on Lewisian rocks and readdressed the problems they pose several times during his life. His ability to extrapolate ideas from one area of geology to another and to straddle geological time scale enabled him to reappraise the regional Lewisian structure and evolution in the light of ideas evolving elsewhere, whether that was in his own head or in the geology of the wider world. It was done through an understanding of theoretical structural geology and small-scale example, yet at the same time it extrapolated to large scale and was significant not only in terms of the Lewisian and the Precambrian in general, but also in understanding the way in which the Earth’s crust deforms. Coward’s work rarely stayed within conventional bounds; and when it did, it pushed the limits. Our understanding of the world progresses through that sort of approach. It is seen too rarely nowadays.

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