Alfred Wegener is the greatest scientist you’ve never heard of. The author of the theory of continental drift—one of the key scientific concepts of the past century and the direct ancestor of the modern theory of plate tectonics—Wegener also made major contributions to geology, geophysics, astronomy, geodesy, atmospheric physics, meteorology, and glaciology. So why isn’t he better known?
This month, JHU Press publishes a new biography—the only complete account of the scientist’s fascinating life and work—that restores Wegener to the pantheon of modern science and caps the career of award-winning historian Mott Greene. A rave early review in the journal Nature calls the book “a magnificent, definitive, and indefatigable tribute to an indefatigable man” and notes that “Greene beautifully puts the record straight with a portrait of Wegener as a respected ‘cosmic physicist.’ ” Read the full review here. And view the book trailer below to hear Mott Greene discuss Alfred Wegener: Science, Exploration, and the Theory of Continental Drift, a landmark work that has clearly been a labor of love.
Mott T. Greene is an affiliate professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington and John Magee Professor of Science and Values emeritus at the University of Puget Sound. He is the author of Alfred Wegener: Science, Exploration, and the Theory of Continental Drift, Geology in the Nineteenth Century: Changing View of a Changing World, and Natural Knowledge in Preclassical Antiquity.
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