Ref NoLDGSL/1107/A/1/31
TitleGeneral correspondence, 1991
Extent3 files
DescriptionGeneral correspondence of Dan McKenzie, Professor of Earth Sciences in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, England, January-December 1991. The contents principally comprise various invitations and arrangements for McKenzie to attend symposia, serve on committees, give talks or write articles, requests for preprints or computer programs, or permission to republish his papers, correspondence with publishers, or with fellow academics/scientists seeking McKenzie's opinion on their works, but also:

Professor Emeritus Peter Fellgett, Bodmin, Cornwall, England, belatedly congratulates McKenzie on the award of the Japan Prize, since his retirement has been out of touch with current research on plate tectonics and wants to know if it is now possible to determine whether expansion or contraction of the Earth is evidenced, what the forces are that drive plate motions and how the banded magnetic stripes on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge can be reconciled with hydrostatic stability and fracture mechanics, 11 January 1991, with draft reply from McKenzie forwarding published papers on the subjects Fellgett raised and explaining that through satellite geodesy there is clearly no evidence for Earth expansion, the views on plate driving forces has not changed since the 1970s and that the stripe geometry does not derive from fracture mechanics but from the thermal behaviour of plates combined with magma focussing beneath the ridges, [n.d.]; John F Dewey, Head of Department, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, England, will vigorously support McKenzie's Royal Society research grant application for the Magellan/Venus project as he is outraged at the petty bureaucratic attitude of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), 8 January 1991, with copy reply from McKenzie thanking Dewey for his encouragement as he is having a 'bad time' with the NERC which has turned down two recent grant applications as they believe that McKenzie is so well known he can find funding elsewhere, 12 January 1991; letters between McKenzie, A T Huntingdon, Earth Sciences Directorate, NERC, Swindon, England, Barry Parsons & Phillip England, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, criticising the NERC report of an expert group meeting on 'Continental Structure and Dynamics', December 1990-January 1991; fax from Steve Saunders, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Magellan Science Office, USA, inviting McKenzie to participate in the press conference for the Magellan project, 15 January 1991, with fax replies from McKenzie first agreeing, then changing his mind due to Saddam Hussein's threat to airlines, 23 January 1991, also typescript of paper Solomon, S C and J W Head, W Kaula, D McKenzie, et al, "Venus Tectonics: the perspective from Magellan at half-way point" [published in 'Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference', vol 22 (1991), p1299]; two copy letters from McKenzie to James Jackson concerning edits to a joint paper, the research work of scientific acquaintances, 23 & 28 January 1991; letters between the Office of the Registrar, University of Leeds, England, and McKenzie concerning arrangement for the conferment of an honorary degree from the university, 20 December 1990-28 January 1991;

Application for a Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) grant for a joint project by McKenzie and Herbert Huppert, 'Three-dimensional colour graphics solutions to multi-disciplinary problems in applied mathematics', February 1991; Jane Lewis, Royal Society, London, England, enclosing a list of successful and unsuccessful applications to the Royal Society Research Grants programme [McKenzie's name appears in the unsuccessful list], 20 February 1991;

MARCH 1991
John Brodholt, Department of Geology, University of Bristol, England, enjoyed McKenzie's recent talk, suggests McKenzie should use Monte Carlo techniques to estimate confidence limits of melt fraction, 15 March 1991; Russell 'Russ' Harmon, Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, c/o BGS, Keyworth, Nottingham, England, questions McKenzie on aspects of 0-isotope systematics of basalts, 15 March 1991;

APRIL 1991
Chris Argent, Royal Society, London, England, 25 February 1991, forwarding a letter from Marianne Sondergaard, Silkeborg, Denmark, who is writing about the ancient mythical city of Atlantis and is interested in seismological activity in the region, 18 February 1991, with copy reply from McKenzie providing some answers to Sondergaard's questions but stating that he is unable to comment further as there is no evidence that Atlantis actually existed, 4 April 1991; J Stewart Turner, Institute of Advanced Studies, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, Australia, seeks McKenzie's urgent help to try and stop the Australian government's plans to break up the School of Earth Sciences at ANU, 10 April 1991, with letter from McKenzie addressed to Australian Prime Minister Robert Hawke expressing his dismay at the plans, 17 April 1991; Robbie Gries, Distinguished Lecture Committee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, inviting McKenzie to particpate in the 1991-1992 Distinguished Lecture program, 12 April 1991, with copy reply from McKenzie refusing the invitation as he suspects that the AAPG are interested in the work on tectonics and organic geochemistry he did a decade earlier which is now being used widely by the oil industry, as he is now concerned with magma generation he recommends James Jackson and Nicky White instead, 29 April 1991; John Sclater, Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas at Austin (UTIG), USA, Art Maxwell and he are proposing Bob Fisher for an AGU Fellowship and seeking a letter of support from McKenzie, has been going over Fisher's early publications of the 1950s-1960s and is struck by how his interpretation of seismic refraction data across the trench fits the current thinking about subduction, and believes that the work of Fisher and Russ Raitt had a substantial effect on Harry Hess' classic paper on sea floor spreading, however whilst Sclater is keen to recognise Raitt's and Fisher's work it did not directly affect his own acceptance of plate tectonic theory and is therefore seeking McKenzie's opinion on the matter, 15 March 1991, with copy reply from McKenzie pleased to support Fisher's nomination but does not agree with Sclater's interpretation of the period as the ideas on trenches were a 'mess', the only paper that was anywhere near correct was Hess & Maxwell (1953), agrees that the data Fisher collected would have had a profound effect on our understanding of the oceans but does not recall Fisher taking magnetics seriously until much later, thinks that whilst it is important to get the data right, what is essential is to understand its significance, that is he does not see the virtue in hard work rather if you can get the idea right without it, it is just as good, 29 April 1991; letters concerning the contents of and feedback from the BBC Horizon programme 'The Day the Earth Melted' which McKenzie participated in, 14 February-4 April 1991, also BBC contracts for the programme, 15 March & 29 April 1991;

Deborah Cohen, Editor, Science Programmes, Radio, BBC, London, England, thanking McKenzie for his interview with Colin Tudge for the programme 'Spectrum', Radio Three, and forwarding a recording, 22 May 1991, with brief copy reply from McKenzie believing that he is better on radio as he spends his time talking and thinking rather than acting, 18 June 1991, also BBC contract, 24 May 1991; Sir Francis Graham-Smith, Vice-President and Physical Secretary, Royal Society, London, England, notifying McKenzie of his award of the Royal Medal, 28 June 1991;

JULY 1991
Jane Lewis, Royal Society, London, England, enclosing a list of successful and unsuccessful applications to the Royal Society Research Grants programme, 5 July 1991; letters from scientific colleagues congratulating McKenzie on his being awarded the Royal Medal of the Royal Society, 19-26 July 1991;

Edward 'Ted' Irving, British Columbia, Canada, congratulates McKenzie on his award of the Royal Medal, encloses letters concerning his complaints to the chairman of the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada over the eligibility criteria for the Women's Faculty Awards which Mary Fowler was intending to apply for, 23 August 1991;

Letters between McKenzie, Professor Paul Cross, Department of Surveying, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and James Briden concerning the European Space Agency's ARISTOTELES mission, 15 July-4 September, notably McKenzie's opinion on how the ARISTOTELES satellite could contribute to gravity studies for research in continental tectonics; McKenzie's draft application for Chartership of the Geological Society, including letters requesting support from various sponsors, 27 August-11 September 1991; John G Ramsay, Geologisches Institut, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland, congratulates McKenzie on his award of the Royal Medal, complains about developments in the British Earth science scene believing there is elitism in some universities particularly against the activities in the Geological Society's specialist groups, 25 September 1991;

John Underhill, Grant Institute of Geology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, is compiling a North West European stratigraphic database and the data appears to suggest there was a very broad regional uplift in the Mid-Jurassic, wonders how far McKenzie has got in understanding the dynamics of low temperature plumes as he believes there may be a connection, 4 October 1991, copy reply from McKenzie willing to discuss the subject but states that he remains to be convinced that epirogenic uplift of continental regions can only occur through plumes, 10 October 1991; Jackie Maggs, Membership Manager, Geological Society of London, England, informing McKenzie that his Chartership application was successful, 14 October 1991; copy of the Newsletter of the University of Cambridge, vol 2, October 1991, containing notice of McKenzie's award of the Royal Medal; Professor Anthony L Harris, President of the Geological Society, following on from a conversation with John Dewey and John Cubitt, would like to stage a one-day meeting at the Society on the future directions of Earth science and invites McKenzie to participate, 21 October 1991, with copy reply from McKenzie who is keen to take part but the suggested date clashes with teaching commitments, was recently invited to a meeting at the Royal Astronomical Society and was struck at how unified the members were unlike the meetings of the Geological Society where so few internationally renowned Earth scientists attend, asks if Council would consider holding meetings in a single place, 28 October 1991; letters and programme relating to the 1991 UK-Canada Rutherford Lecture by Dr Charlotte Keen, 17-31 October 1991; abstract of McKenzie's paper "Melting Beneath Oceanic Islands", 31 October 1991; Drummond 'Drum' Matthews, Porlock, England, belated congratulations on McKenzie's Royal Medal, [n.d.];

Proofs, guidance notes, letters of invitation, provisional programme, abstracts and other letters concerning the organisation of the Royal Society discussion meeting 'Melting and Melt-Movement in the Earth', to be held between 3-4 March 1992 and co-organised by McKenzie, 21 August-29 November 1991; Dr D M Ellix, New Technology Co-ordinator, Amerada Hess Ltd, London, England, now that McKenzie has agreed to become a member of the company's 'difficult reservoirs think tank', Ellix is concerned with the importance of inter-personal relationships in group working and team roles and would like to begin holding psychometric/personality sessions in order to gain 'a fascinating insight into ourselves', 26 November 1991, with copy reply from McKenzie irritated and insulted with the pseudo-scientific nature of what he describes as 'business school games' and therefore withdraws from participation in the think tank, 30 November 1991;

Photocopies of shipping memoranda from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA, of the various photographs and data relating to the Magellan project sent to McKenzie, and the resulting invoices for import tax from the carrier Federal Express, which McKenzie refuses to pay, August-December 1991; draft report by John F Dewey, Professor of Geology, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, England, outlining his problems with post-doctoral research assistantships funding, much preferring the concept of fellowships instead, 21 November 1991, with copy reply from McKenzie agreeing with many of his points as he has only ever had two post-docs working under him, 20 December 1991; draft letters to three potential graduate students, enclosing outlines of three projects McKenzie is currently undertaking, "Theoretical Studies of Melt Generation", "Volcanism an Tectonics of Venus" and "Melt Generation Beneath Oceanic Islands" (with Karl Gronvold), [n.d.]; incomplete questionnaire from the Geological Society's Joint Association for Geophysics (JAG), with copy letter attached from McKenzie suggesting that geophysicists should become a special studies group of the Society and have an annual meeting where all specialist groups would attend, [n.d.].
Administrative HistoryBetween June-October, McKenzie was based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA.
Access ConditionsAccess is by appointment only. Please contact the Archivist for further information.
ArchNoteDescription by Caroline Lam
CreatorNameMCKENZIE | Dan Peter | 1942- | geophysicist
BRODHOLT | John Peter | 1957- | geophysicist
CROSS | Paul A | fl 1986- | professor of surveying science
DEWEY | John Frederick | 1937- | geologist
ENGLAND | Phillip Christopher | 1951- | geologist
FELLGETT | Peter Berners | 1922-2008 | professor of cybernetics
FREY | Frederick August | 1938- | geochemist
GALLAGHER | Kerry | fl 1988- | geologist
GARFUNKEL | Zvi | 1938- | geologist
HARMON | Russell S | 1946- | geoscientist
HARRIS | Anthony Leonard |1935- | geologist
HARTE | Ben | 1941- | petrologist, mineralogist and geochemist
HIDE | Raymond | 1929-2016 | physicist
HUPPERT | Herbert Eric | 1943- | geophysicist
IRVING | Edward | 1927-2014 | geologist and palaeomagnetist
LOPER | David Eric | fl 1965- | geophysicist
MATTHEWS | Drummond Hoyle | 1931-1997 | geologist and marine geophysicist
PARSONS | Barry | 1948- | geophysicist
RAMSAY | John Graham | 1931- | structural geologist
RIBE | Neil Marshall | 1955- | geophysicist
SAUNDERS | R Stephen | fl 1972- | planetary scientist
SCLATER | John George | 1940- | marine geologist and geophysicist
SCOTT | Barry | 1929-2013 | geologist
SMITH | Sir | Francis Graham- | 1923- | astronomer
TURNER | John Stewart | 1930- | geophysicist
UNDERHILL | John Richard | 1961 | geoscientist
WEIJERMARS | Ruud | fl 1977- | structural geologist
WEISS | Nigel Oscar | 1936- | astronomer and mathematician
YIELDING | Graham | 1957- | geologist and geophysicist
DS/UK/1192MCKENZIE; Dan Peter (1942-); geophysicist1942-
DS/UK/1669YIELDING; Graham (1957-); geologist and geophysicist1957-
DS/UK/1282FELLGETT; Peter Berners (1922-2008); professor of cybernetics1922-2008
DS/UK/1189DEWEY; John Frederick (1937-); geologist1937-
DS/UK/1670GAHAGAN; Lisa Marie (1963-); geophysicist1963-
DS/UK/1368PARSONS; Barry (1948-); geophysicist1948-
DS/UK/1514ENGLAND; Phillip Christopher (1951-); geologist1951-
DS/UK/1495SAUNDERS; R Stephen (fl 1972-); planetary scientistfl 1972-
DS/UK/1563JACKSON; James Anthony (1954-); geophysicist1954-
DS/UK/1397HUPPERT; Herbert Eric (1943-); geophysicist1943-
DS/UK/1671BRODHOLT; John Peter (1957-); geophysicist1957-
DS/UK/1672HARMON; Russell S (1946-); geoscientist1946-
DS/UK/1446GALLAGHER; Kerry (fl 1988-); geologistfl 1988-
DS/UK/1411LOPER; David Eric (fl 1965-); geophysicistfl 1965-
DS/UK/1564PRIESTLEY; Keith Ferrin (1946-); geophysicist1946-
DS/UK/1666WEIJERMARS; Ruud (fl 1977-); structural geologistfl 1977-
DS/UK/1673TURNER; John Stewart (1930-); geophysicist1930-
DS/UK/1211SCLATER; John George (1940-); marine geologist and geophysicist1940-
DS/UK/1521FISHER; Robert Lloyd (1925-); marine geologist and geophysicist1925-
DS/UK/1318MAXWELL; Arthur Eugene (1925-); geophysicist and oceanographer1925-
DS/UK/1200WEISS; Nigel Oscar (1936-); astronomer and mathematician1936-
DS/UK/1362SCOTT; Barry (1929-2013); geologist1929-2013
DS/UK/1257MENARD; Henry William (1920-1986); geologist1920-1986
DS/UK/1226HESS; Harry Hammond (1906-1969); geologist1906-1969
DS/UK/1662GARFUNKEL; Zvi (1938-); geologist1938-
DS/UK/1674RAMSAY; John Graham (1931-); structural geologist1931-
DS/UK/1534HIDE; Raymond (1929-2016); physicist1929-2016
DS/UK/1675SMITH; Sir; Francis Graham- (1923-); astronomer1923-
DS/UK/1166IRVING; Edward (1927-2014); geologist and palaeomagnetist1927-2014
DS/UK/1676FREY; Frederick August (1938-); geochemist1938-
DS/UK/1677UNDERHILL; John Richard (1961-); geoscientist1961-
DS/UK/1678HARRIS; Anthony Leonard (1935-); geologist1935-
DS/UK/966MATTHEWS; Drummond Hoyle (1931-1997); marine geologist1931-1997
DS/UK/1408RIBE; Neil Marshall (1955-); geophysicist1955-
DS/UK/1308BRIDEN; James Christopher (1938-); geophysicist1938-
DS/UK/1634CROSS; Paul A (fl 1986-); professor of surveying sciencefl 1986-
DS/UK/1480HARTE; Ben (1941-); petrologist, mineralogist and geochemist1941-
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