Jacques-Louis, Comte de Bournon was a French soldier and mineralogist who, following the French Revolution, took refuge in England. There he was elected to the Royal Society and became a leading figure within the scientific circle of the metropolis. He conducted masterclasses in mineralogy and in 1807 he was one of the founders of the Geological Society. He remained a leading light of that Society until his return to France at the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. His final years he passed as the Director-General of the Royal Mineral Cabinet.
Figures & Tables
The Making of the Geological Society of London
Founded in 1807, the Geological Society of London became the world’s first learned society devoted to the Earth sciences. In celebration of the Society’s 200-year history, this book commemorates the lives of the Society’s 13 founders and sets geology in its national and European context at the turn of the nineteenth century. In Britain, geology was emerging as a subject in its own right from three closely related disciplines — chemistry, mineralogy and medicine — disciplines that reflect the principal professions and interests of the founders. The tremendous energy and cooperation of these 13 men, about whom little was previously known, quickly mobilized like-minded men around the country and fuelled the nation’s passion for geology; an enthusiasm that soon spread to America and Australia. Two previously unpublished works from this period, essential to understanding the founding of the Society, are reproduced here for the first time. The book closes with a review of the Society’s 2007 Bicentenary celebrations.