An Australian lecture-tour
It may well have been Kleeman who suggested that Phillips should visit Australia to repeat his ‘Vacation School in Structural Petrology’ at the University of Adelaide (Fig. 9.1), and doubtless the British Council (which eventually sponsored the July-October 1953 visit) would have encouraged him to give lectures elsewhere. For instance, the University of Western Australia in Perth would have been an obvious place to visit, in view of Phillips’ pre-war acquaintance with Rex Prider (ft. 1938-1985) at Cambridge (Fig. 6.6), which may have been renewed during Prider's year of study-leave in Britain and Europe in 1952-1953.
Leaving on 2 July 1953, Phillips travelled on the liner Strath-naver via Gibraltar, Port Said and the Gulf of Suez to the Red Sea, Aden, Bombay and Colombo,220 and arrived at Fremantle on 28 July.221 During his voyage, he read a book on Australia (Taylor 1943), and began ‘serious work’. Although Phillips (1953b, p. 4) mentions ‘reading Sander’ (presumably, Sander 1948, 1950) on the ship, he may also have been working on the manuscript for his forthcoming book The Use of Stereographic Projection in Structural Geology (Phillips 1954b).222
During his week in Nedlands, near Perth, where the University of Western Australia is located, Phillips was hosted by his former Cambridge colleague Prider, who had been appointed to the Chair of Geology at the University in 1949.
Figures & Tables
The Life of Frank Coles Phillips (1902–1982) and the Structural Geology of the Moine Petrofabric Controversy
Frank Coles Phillips was a photographer mineralogists and structural petrologists working in themiddle of the twentieth century. He was very influential, both in the UK and abroad and was responsible for encouraging the development of structural geology as a discipline in Australia and for the adoption of the stereogram as a fundamental interpretational tool in structural geology in the UK. He was a superb teacher, perhaps best known amongst mineralogist and geologist of today for his classic textbooks, An Introduction to Crystallography and The Use Steographic Projection in Structural Geology.
Phillips was the first to apply the methods of structural petrology (the study of the microscopic fabric of deformed rocks) in an attempt to unravel the complex structural history of the Moine rocks of northwestern Scotland. his findings were at odds with those of his contemporaries and resulted in the Moine petrofabrics becoming embroiled in a long-running controversy, only completely resolved since the mid-1980s.
This geological biography of an important twentieth century mineralogist and petrolohist takes a critical look at Philips' research in the context of contemporaneous developments in structural and Moine geology. It reviews his work in relation to both past problems and present solutions. It will be of interest to all gelogist, especially structural and microstructural geologist, historians of science and the general leader with an interest in science.