Micropalaeontology in Basel (Switzerland) during the twentieth century: the rise and fall of one of the smaller fields of the life sciences
Lukas Hottinger, 2013. "Micropalaeontology in Basel (Switzerland) during the twentieth century: the rise and fall of one of the smaller fields of the life sciences", Landmarks in Foraminiferal Micropalaeontology: History and Development, A. J. Bowden, F. J. Gregory, A. S. Henderson
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This chapter provides an example of the rise and fall of a scientific discipline represented by a so-called school where teachers are followed by their own pupils within the same institution. The Basel school of Micropalaeontology developed from within the Geological-Palaeontological Institute (GPI) of Basel University from two identifiable roots: a Dutch root based upon exploration activities in Borneo and the Indonesian Dutch Colonies up to WWII; and an American root based upon oil exploration in the Caribbean and Venezuela. The academic environment at Basel is considered from the first half of the twentieth century onwards. The chapter discusses the contributions made by personalities such as Manfred Reichel, Lukas Hottinger, C. Renz, Otto Renz, Hans Bolli, Hans Schaub and Willi Mohler and how these affected the focus of research at Basel. It concludes with a more personal reflection of species concepts, functional morphology and the ecology of larger foraminifera, the dimension of time in the ecology of foraminifera, collaborative activities and a viewpoint upon the demise of research schools.
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This TMS Special Publication comprises a collection of 23 papers with an international authorship reflecting on landmarks in the history and development of Foraminiferal micropalaeontology. The volume is prefaced by an introductory overview that provides a brief and selected historical setting, as well as the intended aims of the book. Selected developments in Foraminiferal studies from a global perspective are presented from the time of Alcide d’Orbignyand the founding of the Paris MNHN collections in the mid-nineteenth century to the use of foraminifera in industry, other museum collections, palaeoceanography and environmental studies, regional studies from the Southern Hemisphere and the riseand fall of significant research schools. The book concludes with a chapter on the modelling of foraminifera. Landmarks in Foraminiferal Micropalaeontology: History and Development will be of particular interest to micropalaeontologists, other Earth scientists, historians of science, museum curators and the general reader with an interest in science.