Geology at the crossroads:: aspects of the geological career of Dr John MacCulloch
Alan J. Bowden, 2009. "Geology at the crossroads:: aspects of the geological career of Dr John MacCulloch", The Making of the Geological Society of London, C. L. E. Lewis, S. J. Knell
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Dr John MacCulloch MD was a pioneer of geological cartography. Prior to his surveys there had been few attempts to map and survey Scotland. Of these few, only the student efforts of Louis-Albert Necker de Saussure and the published map of Aimé Boué have attempted to show the whole country. MacCulloch’s geological map of Scotland, published posthumously in 1836, remains one of the great cartographic milestones in the history of geology. Earlier, MacCulloch was the first government-appointed geologist through his work on the Board of Ordnance whilst carrying out the Millstone, Meridian and Mountain surveys. MacCulloch’s work often generated controversy after 1820 when others began to take an interest in Scottish geology. MacCulloch was an active member of the Geological Society and was quickly recognized as a geologist of rare ability and influence, and was appointed to several committees. He was made Vice-President in 1815 and became its fourth President in 1816. From 1820 his influence and activity in the Society began to wane as the demands of his Survey work and ill health began to take their toll. He finally resigned from the Society in 1832.
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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 Two previously unpublished works from this period, essential to understanding the founding of the Society, are reproduced here for the first time.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.