Continental Drift: Colliding Continents, Converging Cultures is as much an account of the impressions Western culture made on Constantin Roman as a young researcher from behind the Iron Curtain as a personal history of the developing new science of plate tectonics. The book elucidates the author's struggles against a web of bureaucracy to secure his rights in the free world while exploring historical events. A refined observer of the contrast of cultures between East and West, Roman's personal story relates his encounters with eminent scientists, artists, and embassy officials.
Constantin Roman defied communist restrictions by coming to England in 1968 on a NATO travel grant. After being encouraged by Keith Runcorn at the University of Newcastle to stay in Britain for a higher degree, he received a Ph.D. scholarship at the University of Cambridge. This is where he studied under Sir Edward Bullard when plate tectonics was in its infancy, when the concepts of continental drift and sea floor spreading were galvanizing geology.
As a continental student adrift on English shores, Roman soon staked his claim on the plate tectonics map with his work on the deep earthquakes of the Carpathians. But the stakes became higher with a race against the clock to be the first to publish a plate tectonics solution to the Himalayan earthquakes.
Continental Drift delves into all of this and more. It will delight earth scientists, physicists, and general readers as well as historians of science, who will find a wealth of personal recollections of key figures in the continental drift story.