Of Seas and Ships and Scientists: The Remarkable History of the UK’s National Institute of Oceanography, 1949-1973


Of Seas and Ships and Scientists: The Remarkable History of the UK’s National Institute of Oceanography, 1949-1973 Author: Editors: Dr. John Gould, Anthony Laughton, Howard Roe, Tom Tucker Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: James Clarke & Co Ltd Pages: 352 Language: English ISBN: 9780718892302 Category:

This book captures the excitement of a formative phase of UK science during and immediately following WWII. It links back to scientists working at Antarctic whaling stations and the complimentary voyages of Captain Scott’s Discovery that explored the vast icy Southern Ocean, funded by a tax on whale oil. In the depths of WWII a small group of young scientists were brought together under the inspirational leadership of Dr (later Sir) George Deacon, and shortly after the end of the war, the UKis first National Institute of Oceanography was formed. The discoveries from 50 years ago underpin our modern-day science. The bookis chapters are all written and edited by NIO scientists and convey the atmosphere of work at sea in a bygone age before small computers, satellite navigation and easy communication. The book is A useful introduction for students of marine and/or environmental science. It will appeal to many scientists and the general public , to those interested in science and innovation during and after WWII and of course to many living in the Surrey who always wondered what went on in the leafy lanes that were home to NIO and its successors for almost 50 years.

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Prof Gwyn Griffiths, International Journal of the Society for Underwater Technology "This is a fascinating book on the work done by the scientists and engineers of the UK National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). It is far from being a dry, academic history of an institution. Rather, it is a collection of chapters by a number of scientists that created the substantial international reputation enjoyed by the NIO, from its formation in the years after the Second World War, until the change of name in 1973. The editors have done an excellent job of collecting the contributions into coherent sections and ensuring that the book is easily accessible to the general reader ... This is an attractive, well-produced book that will appeal to a wide readership." Anita McConnell, Journal for Maritime Research, May, 2011 - "Anyone who has had the experience of being tossed around in mid-ocean while being doused with icy salt water will enjoy this book, but it can also be enjoyed by those interested in the period when Dr Deacon and his team were making truly remarkable advances in the marine sciences." 'As a contribution to the intellectual history of oceanography, the volume could be characterized as a chronicle of research, accomplishments and discoveries since the publication of the so-called "bible", Harald Sverdrup, Martin Johnson and Richard Fleming's 1942 text, The Oceans: Their Physics, Chemistry and General Biology. [ - ] The founding and work of NIO is set in the context of nineteenth- and twentieth-century international ocean science by historian of science Margaret Deacon (daughter of founder George Deacon), who lends her encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of oceanography to the volume. [ - ] Readers who will appreciate this volume include: oceanographers and those interested in oceanography; scholars of history of oceanography and history of science; and maritime historians, historians of technology and anyone interested in the history of work at sea, including the contributions of science and engineering to industries such as undersea oil and gas drilling. Graduate students or scholars seeking new research ideas in the history of science will here find gems that suggest profitable research avenues, a few which are suggested below.' Yrjoe Kaukiainen - University of Helsinki, Finland in: International Journal of Maritime History Vol. XXIII (No.2), 2011. ' - a good read.' Tony Rice, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, Vol.43, No.1 (2014)

Author Biography

Sir Anthony Laughton joined the NIO in 1955, following a PhD in marine geophysics at Cambridge and was Director of IOS (the successor of NIO) between1978-88. He has obtained numerous awards and was awarded knighthood for services to oceanography in 1987. Dr John Gould joined NIO in 1967 and was head of Marine Physics and Director of two projects until his retirement in 2002. Amongst his recent publications is Ocean Circulation and Climate (2001) Mr M.J. 'Tom' Tucker joined the Group G at the Admiralty Research Laboratory in 1944. He later moved to NIO and was awarded DSc in Biological Oceanography by UCL in 1998. Amongst his recent publications is Waves in Ocean Engineering (2001), edited with E.G. Pitt Prof. Howard Roe joined the Whale Research Unit at NIO in 1965, following a degree in Zoology at University College London. He was director of the Southampton Oceanography Centre from 1999 to his retirement in 2005.