Rummaging through the attic; Or, A brief history of the geological sciences at Yale
Published:January 01, 1985
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Brian J. Skinner, Barbara L. Narendra, 1985. "Rummaging through the attic; Or, A brief history of the geological sciences at Yale", Geologists and Ideas, Ellen T. Drake, William M. Jordan
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Commencing with the appointment of Benjamin Silliman as Professor of Chemistry and Natural History in 1802, the history of instruction and research in the geological sciences at Yale can be conveniently divided into seven generation-long stages. Each stage was characterized by a group of faculty members whose interests and personalities imparted a distinct flavor and character to the institution; as those faculty members left, retired, or died over a decade-long period of change, responsibility for geological studies passed to a new generation.
The first stage began with the appointment of Silliman; the second started in 1850 as Silliman’s career drew to a close and J. D. Dana, his son-in-law, was appointed to the faculty, and brought the first Ph.D. degrees in the United States. The third stage commenced in 1880, and the fourth beginning in 1900, brought the first faculty appointments specifically for graduate instruction. The fifth and sixth stages saw the formative moves that welded different administrative units together, leading to today’s Department of Geology and Geophysics. Stage seven, commencing in 1965, includes the present (1984), but holds the seeds of stage eight.
The increasing diversity of research activities in geology has led to a doubling of the number of geological faculty employed at Yale approximately every 50 years. The number of Ph.D’s awarded has increased at a parallel rate. We suggest the size of the faculty will probably double again by the year 2035 and that production of Ph.D’s will probably rise to a rate of 12
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Geologists and Ideas
An unusually coherent, well-written volume. Prepared for DNAG by the History of Geology Division of GSA. Spotlights events, ideas, and people, and sheds light on the history of North American geology as a whole. With its many intellectual jewels on the evolution of scientific concepts, this book will provide many happy hours of entertainment and instruction for anyone interested in the history of science, especially that of the earth sciences. Thirty-four papers are organized into four categories: (1) The Evolution of Significant Ideas; (2) Contributions of Individuals; (3) Contributions of Organized Groups; and (4) Application of Significant Ideas. Excellent as a course-book or for additional reading for classes related to the history of geology or general science.