[MSA-talk] American Mineralogist Special Collection 35: Applications of Fluid, Mineral and Melt Inclusions

Bruce Yardley B.W.D.Yardley at leeds.ac.uk
Mon Nov 20 05:52:46 EST 2017


There is a story I heard from several sources which may or may not be one of the occasions which Ian Carmichael recalled. Apparently when the young Graham Chinner presented his work on metamorphism in the Scottish Highlands, which included some of the first pressure/depth estimates, to the Geological Society, HH Read, who was the biggest figure in UK geology at the time, rose to his feet at the end and waved a platinum capsule around asking "are you trying to tell me that, because of some little capsule like this, there must have been 20 kilometres of rock above the Scottish Highlands?". 

Well, my first comment is that it is a great pity we don't have more of that sort of showmanship in science today, but it is even more of a pity that it is very rare to have meetings where people from very different backgrounds with different expertise have to sit down and listen to each other and discuss their disagreements. Usually, if groups disagree, they each get their own session at Goldschmidt, GSA or wherever and pretend the other does not exist. I can think of numerous examples from recent years where people in one field operate within a bubble of assumptions which have been shown in another field to be untenable. In fact I am reviewing a paper like that right now. An excellent example is the divergence between geophysicists and petrologist/geochemists on the issue of water in the lower crust.

So beware of being too impressed by your 20/20 hindsight. Before the recognition of subduction processes it was very difficult to account for the fate of the large thickness of rock that had been removed by erosion from above metamorphic belts. If petrologists had not ignored this issue they would not have advanced metamorphic petrology so dramatically in the 1950s and 60s, but ultimately there had to be a reconciliation consistent with both the petrological results and the field evidence. 

Bruce

-----Original Message-----
From: msa-talk-bounces at minlists.org [mailto:msa-talk-bounces at minlists.org] On Behalf Of Frank Spera
Sent: 17 November 2017 21:56
To: Frank Spera <spera at geol.ucsb.edu>
Cc: MSA-talk at minlists.org; Matthew Steele-MacInnis <steelema at ualberta.ca>
Subject: Re: [MSA-talk] American Mineralogist Special Collection 35: Applications of Fluid, Mineral and Melt Inclusions

It is interesting because Ian Carmichael   used to tell a story from the 1950's when he was a student in england... 

something like this:
at  geological meetings where old school petrology guys (hammer and knapsack) would seek to undercut the new age experimental petrologists by remarking in the question period  after a experimental petrology presentation:

" How big is the mountain belt your believe your laboratory results  apply to ? " Answer : 100-1000 kms followed by "how big was your experimental charge ? "Ans 1cm x 0.5 cm

and then sit down with a big facial grin !

so it happens with every generation.
fs
> On Nov 17, 2017, at 1:46 PM, Dymek, Robert <rfdymek at wustl.edu> wrote:
> 
> At some point, those officious leaders told Sorby that "one does not study mountains with microscopes."
> 
> Robert F. Dymek, Ph.D.
> Professor of Geology
> Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences Rudolph Hall Washington 
> University St. Louis, MO  63130
> 314-935-5344 (office)
> 314-935-7361 (facsimile)
> 
> 
> ________________________________________
> From: msa-talk-bounces at minlists.org <msa-talk-bounces at minlists.org> on behalf of Frank Spera <spera at ucsb.edu>
> Sent: Friday, November 17, 2017 3:36:21 PM
> To: Juan Manuel Garcia Ruiz
> Cc: MSA-talk at minlists.org; Matthew Steele-MacInnis
> Subject: Re: [MSA-talk] American Mineralogist Special Collection 35:    Applications of Fluid, Mineral and Melt Inclusions
> 
> After Sorby's talk, the president of the society at the time apparently commented that it was the least plausible paper he had ever heard presented."
> 
> 
> it's a pity that this aforementioned society president is not alive today.... he could serve well as trump's scientific advisor.(just joking, list police)
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Nov 17, 2017, at 1:29 PM, Juan Manuel Garcia Ruiz <juanma.garciaruiz at gmail.com<mailto:juanma.garciaruiz at gmail.com>> wrote:
> 
> After Sorby's talk, the president of the society at the time apparently commented that it was the least plausible paper he had ever heard presented."
> 
> 

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