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Bruce Yardley appointed Chief Geologist

Bruce Yardley (Leeds University) has been appointed Chief Geologist by The Radioactive Waste Management Directorate (RWMD) of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Chartership news

Chartership Officer Bill Gaskarth reports on a projected new logo for use by CGeols, advice on applications and company training schemes

Climate Change Statement Addendum

The Society has published an addendum to 'Climate Change: Evidence from the Geological Record' (November 2010) taking account of new research

Cracking up in Lincolnshire

Oliver Pritchard, Stephen Hallett, and Timothy Farewell consider the role of soil science in maintaining the British 'evolved road'

Critical metals

Kathryn Goodenough* on a Society-sponsored hunt for the rare metals that underpin new technologies

Déja vu all over again

As Nina Morgan Discovers, the debate over HS2 is nothing new...

Done proud

Ted Nield hails the new refurbished Council Room as evidence that the Society is growing up

Earth Science Week 2014

Fellows - renew, vote for Council, and volunteer for Earth Science Week 2014!  Also - who is honoured in the Society's Awards and Medals 2014.

Fookes celebrated

Peter Fookes (Imperial College, London) celebrated at Society event in honour of Engineering Group Working Parties and their reports

Geology - poor relation?

When are University Earth Science departments going to shed their outmoded obsession with maths, physics and chemistry?

Nancy Tupholme

Nancy Tupholme, Librarian of the Society and the Royal Society, has died, reports Wendy Cawthorne.

Power, splendour and high camp

Ted Nield reviews the refurbishment of the Council Room, Burlington House

The Sir Archibald Geikie Archive at Haslemere Educational Museum

You can help the Haslemere Educational Museum to identify subjects in Sir Archibald Geikie's amazing field notebook sketches, writes John Betterton.

Top bananas

Who are the top 100 UK practising scientists?  The Science Council knows...

Map showing the distribution of cholera in London and its Environs - 1867


A decade after John Snow charted cholera cases in Soho, demonstrating the link with contaminated water, a new outbreak of cholera devastated the East End of London, claiming 5,596 lives (including those of Assistant Librarian Wendy Cawthorne’s great great grandparents)

Geoscientist 22.05 June 2012

Using Snow’s method of illustrating each death with a small black dot, this map offers much poignancy and intrigue. Could the pointillist cluster that blackens out an area north of Limehouse be a slum? What journey was made by the lone dot shown as far west as Marylebone? Where streets are not marked they can be easily discerned by the straight rows of black dots that signal each infected household.

The first deaths are indicated with a red circle just off Bow Road. Their proximity to the canal and reservoir of the East London Water Company is telling: epidemiologist William Farr quickly identified the company as the source of the contaminated water. Also marked is the boundary of the area of the Metropolitan Main Drainage System which was not in operation in July 1866 – it is a brown fence enclosing the majority of the cholera cases. The city was implementing construction of sewage and water treatment systems but the East End section had yet to be completed.

Based on geological mapping by Robert Mylne, the map was presented to the Society by William Whitaker, renowned pioneer of hydrogeology and author of numerous publications for the Geological Survey. The significance of the geological colouring is unclear. However the map would have been useful in recognising the position of wells and other water supplies, as well as indicating what if any part the geology of the wider Thames Valley might have played in the epidemic.

  • High quality prints of this map, together with many others from the Library’s historic collection, are available to buy on our Picture Library