Wyse Jackson, Patrick N.

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Wyse Jackson, Patrick N.

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Home— Dublin, Ireland. Office— Department of Geology, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, lecturer in geology and curator of the Geological Museum, 1988—.

MEMBER:

International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences, Society for the History of Natural History, Royal Irish Academy, Irish Geological Association (past president), Geological Curators' Group (chair).

WRITINGS:

The Building Stones of Dublin: A Walking Guide, photographs by Declan Burke, Town House and Country House (Dublin, Ireland), 1993.

Field Guide to the Geology of Some Localities in County Dublin, Department of Geology (Dublin, Ireland), 1993.

(Editor)In Marble Halls: Geology in Trinity College Dublin, Department of Geology (Dublin, Ireland), 1994.

(Editor)Studies in Palaeozoic Palaeontology and Biostratigraphy in Honour of Charles Hepworth Holland, Palaeontological Association (London, England), 2002.

(Editor, with Caroline J. Buttler and Mary E. Spencer Jones)Bryozoan Studies 2001: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Bryozoology Association Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 16—21 July 2001, Balkema (Exton, PA), 2002.

The Chronologers' Quest: Episodes in the Search for the Age of the Earth, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 2006.

(Editor)Four Centuries of Geological Travel: The Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle, Sledge, and Camel, Geological Society of London (London, England), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Patrick N. Wyse Jackson is a lecturer in geology at the University of Dublin's Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, as well as the curator of its geological museum. He is a leading expert in his field and is active in many organizations, including the Irish Geological Association and the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences. As an editor and author, he has published books on various aspects of geology, often focusing on the particulars of Ireland. His other areas of interest include the geological age of the earth, Palaeozoic bryozoans (marine invertebrates), building stones (ancient monolithic blocks), and the history of science in Ireland. In regard to the latter, Wyse Jackson has been working on a biography of John Joly, an early twentieth-century scientist, also at Trinity College, who developed the technique of using radiology to date geological features.

One of Wyse Jackson's books for general readers is The Chronologers' Quest: Episodes in the Search for the Age of the Earth. The book presents a panoply of creation myths from various eras and cultures, which serve as a starting point for a discussion on scientific estimates of the earth's age. He outlines many theories as they have been advanced by scholars over the years, how those theories evolved, and why they were (or were not) proved incorrect. Ultimately, according to Wyse Jackson, the best estimate of the earth's age is roughly 4.55 billion years, a number based on the combined information gathered by scientists in a multitude of disciplines, from geology to radioactivity to biology. The book was widely reviewed, with many writers noting Wyse Jackson's palpable enthusiasm for his subject. Some, such as Selby Cull, reviewing the book for Sky & Telescope, considered the book "an excellent resource for researchers, but probably not bathtub reading."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Choice, May, 2007, J.T. Andrews, review of The Chronologers' Quest: Episodes in the Search for the Age of the Earth, p. 1562.

Geotimes, December, 2006, review of The Chronologers' Quest, p. 63.

Publishers Weekly, August 14, 2006, review of The Chronologers' Quest, p. 192.

SciTech Book News, December, 2006, review of The Chronologers' Quest.

Sky & Telescope, December, 2006, Selby Cull, review of The Chronologers' Quest, p. 102.

Times Literary Supplement, January 12, 2007, John North, "Weather Man: How Climate Shaped the Way Our Ancestors Lived—and Died," p. 3.

ONLINE

Red Orbit,http://www.redorbit.com/ (May 12, 2005), Bernie Dwan, "Museum Holds Treasure Trove of Earliest Life Forms."

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