Exploration: The Globe and Beyond

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
5:30pm to 6:30pm
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Arms 155 (Robert P. Sharp Lecture Hall)
The Iberian Voyages of Discovery and the Origin of Modern Science: A Geological Perspective
Walter Alvarez, Professor of the Graduate School, Earth and Planetary Science Department, University of California, Berkeley,

The origin of modern science is often traced to the upheaval that astronomy and physics experienced between the times of Copernicus and Newton. Against this traditional view, Professor Alvarez argues that modern science began at least a century before Copernicus, with the Portuguese voyages of exploration in Atlantic Africa. The Portuguese not only understood and used fundamental principles of modern science, but also made fundamental geological and geographical discoveries, particularly concerning atmospheric circulation and the Earth's magnetic field. The Portuguese voyages, later joined by the Spanish, bear a remarkable resemblance to the plate tectonic revolution in geology.

Refreshments will be served at 5:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Fran Tise by phone at 626-395-3609 or by email at ftise@hss.caltech.edu.