Science advances by taking new and unexpected turnings—pioneers opening up pathways which later workers follow and explore. This book takes the reader along several such geological paths that have followed from observations and theories first printed in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London (since 1971, The Journal of the Geological Society). Following the paths, one sees the history of geological thought during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
To celebrate the publication of Volume 150 of The Journal of the Geological Society, leading geologists were invited to present their personal views on significant topics that had been brought to the fore in earlier contributions to the Journal, to evaluate the evidence presented and to give their view of how these seminal papers affected our present understanding of geological processes, and further to hazard where future paths of investigation may lie. In addition, the first chapter, by Rudwick, sets the scene on why the Geological Society of London rated so highly the publication of geological observations. He recounts the creation of the Journal, and how it survived growing pains to become a leading international journal.