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Thread: Iain Stewart: How To Grow a Planet?

  1. #1 Iain Stewart: How To Grow a Planet? 
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    GEOLOGY AND BOTANY: AMAZING

    Professor Iain Stewart(1964- ) is a Scottish geologist. As well as being professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth, he has presented a number of television and radio series, such as: Journeys From the Centre of the Earth, Earth: The Power of the Planet, Hot Rocks, 10 Things You Didn't Know About…., The Climate Wars, How Earth Made Us and How to Grow a Planet. He has a way of making all of those dull subjects I took at primary and high school sound amazing, something I could have actually got my teeth into when I was a child and in my teens.

    Last night, as I was running out of my daily quota of energy and falling asleep in front of the TV, his subject was photosynthesis. He called it: “plants harnessing energy from outer space.” When you put it like that, you start to see plants in a whole new light. Literally. Of course, the cinematography, the script-writing, Stewart’s enthusiasm and the organization of the material all helped to turn on my sensory and intellectual emporium, in spite of my fatigue, on a cold night in Tasmania’s winter. I am in the early years of my retirement having been on an old-age pension for three years. I might have had an entirely different career trajectory if I had been in school for this kind of curricular content.

    Many of the sciences, the social sciences and the humanities are making use of television to bring their disciplines alive for a mass public. The process did not begin until I left school in the sixties, and became a teacher myself. I made extensive use of the electronic media as a teacher from the late 1960s until my retirement at the turn of the millennium.

    This softly spoken, but engaging, geologist has traced our planet’s *evolution through rocks and volcanoes; he has explained how plants turned the Earth from a barren, hostile, purple rock surrounded by toxic gases, into a planet we could call home. He’s had some very cool, if slightly hair-raising, experiments to show us what he’s talking about. I will mention but one: he extracted oxygen from a lump of iron ore and, as he did, he told us that: “I’m breathing oxygen that was created two and a half billion years ago.”-Ron Price with thanks to “How To Grow a Planet,” ABC1, 8:30-9:30 17/6/’12.

    You are, perhaps, the world's most recognisable
    face in the field of geology thanks to a string of
    acclaimed and award-winning television series!!
    You have opened vistas of knowledge for me!!
    Learning and the cultural attainments of the mind
    are, for me, the two most luminous lights in
    the world of creation; the new & wonderful
    configurations, dazzling rays of somewhat
    strange, nay, heavenly powers, of splendour,
    ever-varying, embellished with a fresh grace
    deriving from wisdom and thought’s power.1

    1Abdul-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, Baha’i Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1975(1929), p.1.

    Ron Price
    18 June 2012


    Last edited by RonPrice; June 18th, 2012 at 05:15 AM. Reason: to correct the paragraphing
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    married for 37 years; teacher for 30; living in Australia for 33 years; Baha'i for 45 years. Writer of poetry for 25 years.
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  3. #2  
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    I loved the whole series. Just as I loved How Earth Made Us.

    We may be reasonably sure that once David Attenborough finally decides to stay home for more than a month at a time we'll be in safe hands with the likes of Iain Stewart and Brian Cox. What television was really made for.


    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I loved the whole series. Just as I loved How Earth Made Us.

    We may be reasonably sure that once David Attenborough finally decides to stay home for more than a month at a time we'll be in safe hands with the likes of Iain Stewart and Brian Cox. What television was really made for.
    Not seen 'how to grow a planet', but would agree 'how earth made us' was really good. Also Brian Cox makes a far better science presenter than pop star.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

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    My only bugbear with Stewart is the way he pronounces "Earth" as "Irth".

    An utterly trivial compliant I know.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Aye laddie, I see naithin wrang we that pronounciation! It's as guid as can be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Also Brian Cox makes a far better science presenter than pop star.
    I completely agree. I haven't yet seen "How To Grow a Planet", but reading this glowing review of it has made me quite excited to do so.
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  8. #7  
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    I went to a talk given by Prof. Brian Cox yesterday, I was a few metres from him, it was ace.
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    Here's a webcast of the Cockcroft Rutherford Lecture 2012, given by Prof. Cox, for those who want to watch it:

    https://www.yourmanchester.mancheste...f-a2c485fa9374
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  10. #9  
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    Thanks for all those responses folks...I just saw them for the first time today.-Ron
    married for 37 years; teacher for 30; living in Australia for 33 years; Baha'i for 45 years. Writer of poetry for 25 years.
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    to anyone wanting to see Iain Stewart, he's giving a talk entitled "Fifty Shades of Grey: communicating rocks" in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff on the 23rd of february as part of the 21st anniversary event of the South Wales branch of the Geological Society
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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