Paper No. 24-0
SEVEN AGES OF GEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION: A BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF DUBLIN AND ITS SUCCESSOR THE ROYAL GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF IRELAND 1831-1894
WYSE JACKSON, Patrick N., Dept. of Geology, Trinity College, Dublin 2 Ireland, wysjcknp@tcd.ie.

Biographical analysis of any individual may throw light on the development and evolution of their ideas, and may give a measure of the impact they had on their science. Similarily prosopographical studies may demonstrate the social, cultural, and intellectual influences that acted on a body of individuals, who through membership of one organisation act in a manner similar to that of an individual. This biographical study of a corporate body illustrates the fluctuating status of Irish geology in the nineteenth century: from optimism in the early to middle part, to despair and decay by its end.

The Geological Society of Dublin was established in 1831 by a diverse group of academics, aristocratics, professionals and clerics, under the godfatherly gaze of William Buckland and Adam Sedgwick. The society rapidly matured under the direction of individuals such as Joseph Ellison Portlock and Richard Griffith, and fundamental concepts in geology were discussed for the first time. These included the demonstration of ‘way-up’ from cross-stratification in south west Ireland by Patrick Ganly in 1856, and the mode of formation of river channels by Joseph Beete Jukes in 1862. After gaining royal patronage and a change in title in 1864 to the Royal Geological Society of Ireland, the Society entered middle age. The onset of its demise dates from this period when it became the locus of personal geological tussles between individual members. Throughout the latter decades of the century membership slowly declined and as a consequence revenue fell. The Society had to enter a joint-publication scheme with its prosperous neighbour the Royal Dublin Society. At age of 63 the Society suffered its fatal crisis, and was declared dead in 1894.

GSA Annual Meeting, November 5-8, 2001
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 24
Geobiography: Life Histories of Geologists as a Way to Understand How Science Operates
Hynes Convention Center: 206
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Monday, November 5, 2001
 

© Copyright 2001 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.