Poster for Keynote Address,
Allegre Geochemistry Symposium, France, 1997
This "olde mappe" depicts key events and publications in the development of Geochemistry with particular reference to the prominent contributions of Claude Allegre of France.
A.C.A.~ Anno Claude Allègre. C.E.~ Common Era
The timeline starts at the bottom, with minimal knowledge about Lead (Pb) and Strontium (Sr), and when in 1962, Allegre was 25 years old. The banners represent publications of significant additions to the knowledge base of particular elements.
In the 1960s, geologists finally embraced what had been formerly received as ludicrous, that the continents move atop the molten mantle, an idea called plate tectonics.
Lunatic Industrial Revolution~ Members of the Lunatic Asylum (CalTech), led by Wasserburg, invent and assemble a new-generation thermal ionization mass spectrometer, the Lunatic I, generating a quantum leap in analytical precision. Many laborers in isotope labs across the world were turned out into the streets, as their institutions of employment could not compete with the new technology Revolution.
Big Lugmairean Bang~ Gunther Lugmair's use of the Sm-Nd system for dating lunar rocks launched the use of the Nd isotopic composition as a natural tracer. Compositions of radiogenic isotopes came to be understood as time-integrated parent/daughter changes via solid-melt processes, which attracted rapt attention from the "Convectionists," and subsequent Immigration of Geophysicists resulted in the formation of the Melting Pot.
Coronation~ In the year 1986, Claude Jean Allègre and Gerald J. Wasserburg have the prestigious Crafoord Prize bestowed upon them at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences by nothing less than the very hands of His Majesty the King of Sweden himself-himself, as it was proclaimed, "Their immense creative contributions of pioneering work in isotope geology will have a lasting impact on the geological sciences."
Dark Ages~ Allègre takes leave of the nurturing community of his fellows for employment by the government.
Allegre returns to the research realm, and his colleagues celebrate his continuing contributions.
View the revised 2007 version.
Concept: Nobu Shimizu, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Design & Illustration: Lynn Woodward Design.