Sharing common ground: Nery Delgado (1835–1908) in Spain in 1878
A. Carneiro, 2007. "Sharing common ground: Nery Delgado (1835–1908) in Spain in 1878", Four Centuries of Geological Travel: The Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle, Sledge and Camel, P. N. Wyse Jackson
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The Geological Survey of Portugal (Comissão dos Serviços Geológicos), was created in 1857, as a section of the Geodesic Division of the Ministry of Public Works, Trade and Industry. It benefited greatly from the workings of the ministry, which in trying to modernize the country was concerned to keep up with the latest technical and scientific developments occurring elsewhere in Europe. Since its foundation, the Geological Survey of Portugal showed a clear drive towards its participation in an international scientific dialogue and cooperation. This strategy encompassed subscription to specialized foreign books and journals; intense correspondence with foreign specialists; the regular publication of monographs and memoirs in French; occasional or permanent collaboration with foreign experts; and travelling. The main outcome of the ‘travel of negotiation’ undertaken in 1878 to Spain by the Portuguese geologist J. F. Nery Delgado, then adjunct to the Director of the Portuguese Geological Survey, in addition to improving relationships with the geologists of the neighbouring country, was the collection of field data that was useful for the geological characterization of the southern Portuguese regions. He was also able to negotiate and look for data which could persuade his Spanish colleagues to subscribe to interpretations consistent with the Portuguese geological map, published in 1876.
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In the last four centuries geologists have traversed the globe, searching for economically important materials or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. Geologists have often been at the vanguard of scientific exploration.
The microscopist Robert Hooke explored the Isle of Wight, and Charles Darwin the Cape Verde islands and parts of South America. The volcanic wonders of Italy and central France attracted native and foreign visitors including Lyell and Murchison. The Tyrrell brothers faced great hardship in northern Canada, as did the actor and mineralogist Charles Lewis Giesecke in Greenland. The development of Sydney, Australia depended on finding limestone for building. French geologists relied on camels in the Sahara, and Grenville Cole trusted his tricycle to carry him across Europe.
Four Centuries of Geological Travel: The Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle, Sledge and Camel focuses on the complexities of geological exploration and will be of particular interest to Earth scientists, historians of science and to the general reader interested in science.