A popular and engaging story of the development of geochronology is one that is begging to be told, especially in view of Patterson's colorful personality. But I am not aware of any accessible text. Since graduate student days, I've dreamed of writing something like that. Someday...

On Aug 27, 2010, at 7:45 AM, David Voorhees wrote:

I too would recommend 'Crater of Doom', in fact that is one of the books on the 'Critical Review Paper' list for my Survey of Earth Science students.
Others you may consider:
Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
Simon Winchester, The Map That Changed The World; about the researching and publishing the first great geologic map that revolutionized historical geology by William 'Strata' Smith
For something a little more recent
Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life, the story behind the Burgess Shale and the Cambrian 'explosion' (another on my list)

David H. Voorhees
Associate Professor of Earth Science and Geology
Waubonsee Community College
Rt 47 @ Waubonsee Drive
Sugar Grove, IL 60554
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>>> Karen Campbell <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> 08/27/10 8:20 AM >>>
Good morning,
I will be teaching an undergraduate "J-Term" course that is the
capstone in a STEM minor sequence. It focuses on Earth Science, but
also revisits other elements of STEM. My fellow instructors and I are
looking for suggestions of "McPhee-style" texts for the course that
highlight the (often unintended) ways in which technological advances
pave the way for scientific breakthroughs. Ideally, these would be
about Plate Tectonics or Global Warming breakthroughs, but we are open
to other stories that relate to Earth science (including astronomy and
meteorology as this is a course aimed at Education majors).

Many thanks,
Karen Campbell
Education Director
National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
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A. D. Anbar, Professor
School of Earth & Space Exploration
and Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ  85287
Ph: 480-965-0767; Fax: 480-965-8102