Tuzo: The Unlikely Revolutionary of Plate Tectonics
Published: September 2022© 2022
Imprint: Aevo UTP
Page Count: 288 Pages
Illustrations: 54 colour illustrations, 49 b&w illustrations, 46 colour maps, 21 b&w figures
Dimensions: 8.50 x 8.50
288 Pages, 8.50 x 8.50 x 0.60 in, 54 colour illustrations, 49 b&w illustrations, 46 colour maps, 21 b&w figures
Tuzo is the never-before-told story of one of Canada’s most influential scientists and the discovery of plate tectonics, a pivotal development that forever altered how we think of our planet.
In 1961, a Canadian geologist named John "Jock" Tuzo Wilson (1908–1993) jettisoned decades of strongly held opposition to theories of moving continents and embraced the idea that they drift across the surface of the Earth.
Tuzo tells the fascinating life story of Tuzo Wilson, from his early forays as a teenaged geological assistant working on the remote Canadian Shield in the 1920s to his experiences as a civilian-soldier in the Second World War to his ultimate role as the venerated father of plate tectonics. Illuminating how science is done, this book blends Tuzo’s life story with the development of the theory of plate tectonics, showing along the way how scientific theories are debated, rejected, and accepted. Gorgeously illustrated, Tuzo will appeal to anyone interested in the natural world around them.
Prologue: The Day the Earth Moved
1. In the Beginning
2. Continents Adrift?
3. Sources of Friction
4. Permanentist Foundations
5. Tuzo’s War
6. A Geologist in a Strange Land
7. Seismic Shift
8. The New World of Plate Tectonics
9. An Unlikely Revolutionary
Appendix I: Medals and Awards
Appendix II: Select Primary Sources
Appendix III: The Geological Timescale
"Jock ‘Tuzo’ Wilson was a Canadian war veteran and distinguished professor who contributed to the revolution in our understanding of planet Earth. Nick Eyles tells the fascinating story of Tuzo, his family, and the intellectual turmoil among earth science scholars in this meticulously researched and beautifully written and illustrated book. It’s a pity that there are no Nobel prizes in earth science, for, if there were, Tuzo would be a Nobel laureate."John J. Clague, Emeritus Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University
"This book is a long-overdue account of the life and achievements of one of the giants of earth sciences, J. Tuzo Wilson. It is a compelling and highly readable chronicle of the remarkable events that dramatically changed our understanding of the earth. Nick Eyles effectively combines insights into the science and the people doing the science to create an inspiring narrative of how scientific ideas develop and evolve."Claire Currie, Professor of Geophysics and director of the Institute for Geophysical Research, University of Alberta
"Tuzo Wilson’s development of plate tectonic theory, explaining the movement of continents and the inner workings of our planet, was one of the greatest scientific achievements of the twentieth century. Tuzo is an epic tale of the messy, unpredictable, and very human side of science, but is also a coming-of-age story involving war, the development of Canada as a nation, and the exploration of northern Canada."Stephen T. Johnston, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta
"Adroitly interweaving narratives of a man, a time, and an idea, Nick Eyles recounts the intellectual odyssey of legendary earth scientist J. Tuzo Wilson. Wilson’s journey from defender of geological convention to leading architect of plate tectonics changed forever our understanding of how the Earth works. An instructive lesson in science and a personal story to savour."Andrew H. Knoll, Fisher Research Professor of Natural History, Harvard University, and author of A Brief History of Earth
"This book portrays the most famous Canadian geoscientist in the political and ideological atmosphere of the day. Geological disputes and terms are explained using easily understandable language that's aided by everyday analogies."Maya G. Kopylova, Professor of Diamond Exploration, University of British Columbia
"When he was director of the Ontario Science Centre, I had the privilege to work under Dr. Wilson. Always jovial and willing to share stories of his many adventures around the world, he was most excited to talk about the latest research in earth sciences rather than his own accomplishments. This book is a remarkable testament to the insatiable curiosity and thirst for new knowledge that drove him to become a world-renowned scientist."Bob McDonald, OC, host of CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks
"Nick Eyles offers a fascinating look at how long-entrenched scientific orthodoxy gets overturned in this well-written, illuminating biography of a great pioneering scientist, John Tuzo Wilson. An engrossing account that should be widely read."Dr. Adam Shoalts, national bestselling author of Beyond the Trees and A History of Canada in 10 Maps
"Tuzo: The Unlikely Revolutionary of Plate Tectonics is a terrific read. Nick Eyles has done a tremendous job pulling together a vast amount of historical information, not just on the remarkable life and prodigious achievements of Tuzo Wilson but also documenting in fascinating detail the long and protracted battle between those that believed in a contracting earth versus those that believed in continental drift. Eyles also documents Tuzo’s early life and his early academic career with many interesting photos and stories. Tuzo is a fitting tribute to a remarkable man who is unquestionably Canada’s greatest geoscientist."Bill Pearson, Ph.D., P.Geo., FGC, and Chair, APGO Education Foundation