Fred Wicks is universally recognized as the world’s leading expert on the serpentine minerals. His research has focused on this complex group of minerals since his Ph.D. work at Oxford in the late 1960s. That was a time when new advances in technology were promising great advances in our knowledge of the common rock-forming minerals, and the temptation to work on more tractable minerals than serpentine must have been great. However, the decision to tackle the crystal chemistry and the intriguing textural aspects of the serpentines showed both insight and courage. Fred pioneered the use of X-ray microdiffraction techniques in...

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