Abstract

Fifty years ago, the world’s Earth Scientists experienced the so-called “Revolution in the Earth Sciences”. In the decade from 1960 to 1970, a massive convergence took place from many diverse and contradictory theories about the tectonic processes operating on Earth (then loosely called “mountain building”) to a single widely accepted paradigm now called Plate Tectonics. A major player in leading the international “Revolution” was Canadian geophysicist J. Tuzo Wilson. This tribute reviews how he helped define and promote the Plate Tectonic paradigm, and also, from 1946 to 1967, how he led a rapid expansion of the role of geophysics in Canadian and international earth science. Wilson was a controversial figure before and during the “Revolution”, but his influence was large. It was not coincidental that earth science research in Canada grew by 1964 to the point where the National Research Council of Canada could add the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences to its group of Canadian research journals.

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