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Mineralogy, Stratigraphy and Practical Geology: Shifting tensions in the Geological Society of London, 1807-1840

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Historical accounts of the interests and activities of the Geological Society of London often consider the Society as uninterested in practical geology and focused on fieldwork and gentlemanly debate, particularly the work of Roy Porter. Early debate among members, however, concenred the methods and motives that the Society should adopt to advance the science. In this paper I will examine several interconnected points of debate among different sub-groups of members through a close inspection of the various approaches to geology taken by the Society in its early years. I will also map the waxing and waning of some of these approaches into the 1820s and beyond as the membership and importance of the Society increased.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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