Oral history of British science
Vine, Fred (Part 9 of 12). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewees home, Norwich
Vine, Frederick, 1939- (speaker, male)
Merchant, Paul (speaker, male)
Part 9: Comments on reasons for joining only two oceanographic cruises during career. [1:39] Story of employment PU, 1965-1970 including relations with colleagues, accommodation in Junior Faculty apartments. [5:00] Comments on US late 1960s political context; affluence of PU community; PU’s mirroring of UOC architecture; [cat appears at window] [6:55] Description of office shared with Jason Morgan [JM] in Geophysics Department [GD]. Comments on JM’s previous work under Bob Dickie in nearby Physics Department; work of Walter Elsasser; JM’s research under WE on ‘subduction zones’. [9:54] Story of effect of own presence on development of JM’s interest in plate tectonics [PT]. Brief description of PT as geometric analysis. Detailed comments on JM’s work on ‘poles of rotation’, focused on Atlantic; DMK and Bob Parkers [BP] similar work, focused on Pacific. Mentions Xavier Le Pichon’s [XLP] application of JM, DMK and BP’s work to analysis of all plates. [15:56] Story of John Dewey’s [JD] conversion to PT, including application in field of mountain building. [18:13] Comments on independence from BP of DMK/BP work on PT, in relation to written accounts of PT. Mentions omission from Naomi Oreskes’ book ‘Plate Tectonics’ of accounts by JM and LS. Discussion of JM’s absence from late 1960s BBC Horizon programme on ‘The Drifting of the Continents’ [TDOTC]. [23:47] Comments on possible indirect influence of JM on DMK. Mentions possible difference between British and US versions of the story of PT; opinion that JM had PT idea first.
Interview with geologist Professor Fred Vine.