Rudwick, Martin J.S.

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Rudwick, Martin J.S.
(M.J.S. Rudwick)

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RH, England; Department of History, University of CaliforniaSan Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093-0104. Agent—c/o Author Mail, The University of Chicago Press, 1427 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637.E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, historian, and educator. University of Cambridge, England, affiliated research scholar;University of CaliforniaSan Diego, La Jolla, CA, professor emeritus of history.

WRITINGS:


Living and Fossil Brachiopods, Hutchinson (London, England), 1970.

The Meaning of Fossils: Episodes in the History of Palaeontology, American Elsevier (New York, NY), 1972, revised edition, Science History Publications (New York, NY), 1976.

The Great Devonian Controversy: The Shaping of Scientific Knowledge among Gentlemanly Specialists,University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1985.

Scenes from Deep Time: Early Pictorial Representations of the Prehistoric World, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1992.

Georges Cuvier, Fossil Bones, and Geological Catastrophes: New Translations and Interpretations of the Primary Texts, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1997.

The New Science of Geology: Studies in the Earth Sciences in the Age of Revolution, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2004.

Bursting the Limits of Time: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2005.

Lyell and Darwin, Geologists: Studies in the Earth Sciences in the Age of Reform, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2005.

Author of numerous articles for periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS:

Martin J.S. Rudwick is an historian whose primary interests have included the history of earth and life sciences, science in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, and the history of the earth prior to human habitation. He is the author of several books on these topics, including The Great Devonian Controversy: The Shaping of Scientific Knowledge among Gentlemanly Specialists. The book focuses on a scientific debate over the Devonian System—the name given to series of stratified fossiliferous and igneous rocks created during the Earth's Devonian Period—that raged in the 1830s and 1840s. "The broad theme is the empirical and theoretical changes that led to the establishment of the Devonian System as an accepted subdivision of the stratigraphical column and the social factors that were involved in this process," wrote David R. Oldroyd in Science. Oldroyd added: "One can hardly doubt that Rudwick has written the definitive account of the Devonian controversy."

In Scenes from Deep Time: Early Pictorial Representations of the Prehistoric World, Rudwick explains how scientists in the nineteenth century viewed the prehistoric world and how their views combined with their social environment to influence the first illustrations depicting this world. Harriet Ritvo, writing inVictorian Studies, noted that the author "has illustrated very clearly, precisely, and persuasively that science is inextricably embedded in, and its direction therefore determined by, the social and cultural context in which its practitioners live."

Rudwick's book Georges Cuvier, Fossil Bones, and Geological Catastrophes: New Translations and Interpretations of the Primary Texts, presents translations of the famed early paleontologist's work dating from 1791 to 1812, as well commentary by Rudwick on Cuvier's studies. "This edition of Cuvier's writings will become an essential tool for all who research and teach the history of geology, paleontology and evolutionism," wrote Peter J. Bowler in the American Scientist. Quarterly Review of Biology contributor Joe D. Burchfield wrote: "Anglophone scholars will welcome this book as a valuable addition to the still sparse literature on an important period in the histories of geology, paleontology, and systematic biology."

Rudwick is also author of Bursting the Limits of Time: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution,which New Scientist contributor Roy Herbert called a "superb account of the debate over … [Earth's] history."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


PERIODICALS


American Scientist, May-June 1998, Peter J. Bowler, review of Georges Cuvier, Fossil Bones, and Geological Catastrophes: New Translations and Interpretations of the Primary Texts, p. 289.

Booklist, December 1, 1997, Mary Carroll, review ofGeorges Cuvier, Fossil Bones, and Geological Catastrophes, p. 602.

New Scientist, December 17, 2005, Roy Herbert, review of Bursting the Limits of Time: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution, p. 52.

Quarterly Review of Biology, December, 1999, Joe D. Burchfield, review of Georges Cuvier, Fossil Bones, and Geological Catastrophes, p. 455.

Science, October 25, 1985, David R. Oldroyd, review of The Great Devonian Controversy: The Shaping of Scientific Knowledge among Gentlemanly Specialists, p. 432.

Victorian Studies, spring, 1994, Harriet Ritvo, review of Scenes from Deep Time: Early Pictorial Representations of the Prehistoric World, p. 476.

ONLINE


University of California, San Diego Web site,http://sciencestudies.ucsd.edu/(July 19, 2006), faculty profile of author.

University of Cambridge, Department of History and Philosophy of Science Web site,http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/dept/ (July 19, 2006), faculty profile of author.