Product has been added to the basket

Incoming: Learning to Love the Meteorite

Meteorites have been the stuff of legend throughout human history, and since 1980 the idea that dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteorite strike 65 million years ago has become one of the most widely known scientific ideas of all. However, the causes of the end Cretaceous mass extinction were complex, and the idea that major meteorite strikes are always bound to be bad news for life on Earth is being challenged by fresh discoveries.

New research is suggesting that 470 million years ago, a stupendous collision in the Asteroid Belt (whose débris is still falling, to this very day) bombarded the Earth with meteorites of all sizes. A revolutionary idea is emerging that the resulting ecological disturbance may have been responsible not only for massive worldwide submarine landslides, but for the single greatest increase in biological diversity since the origin of complex life – the hitherto unexplained Great Ordovician Biodiversity Event.


Ted Nield


Ted Nield, 55, studied geology in the universities of Swansea and Cardiff, and worked briefly in the oil business before becoming a science journalist in 1985, writing for New Scientist and most UK broadsheet newspapers and the New York Academy of Sciences.

Ted published two textbooks of palaeontology with Pergamon Press in the 1980s, and Dead Clever (1997) a comic novel serialised in the Times Higher Education Supplement, and (loosely) based on his experiences as the media manager and spokesman for the UK university system (1992-1997).

Ted edits the monthly colour news magazine Geoscientist and its sister publication Geoscientist Online ( for The Geological Society of London.

His book, Supercontinent – 10 billion years in the life of our planet, (Granta) was published to critical acclaim in October 2007. It has since been published in the USA, and translated into five languages. Incoming! – or why we should stop worrying and learn to love the meteorite was published (also by Granta) in 2011.

Ted was Chair of the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth Outreach Programme (2001-2008) and Chair of the Association of British Science Writers (2006-2009). Ted joined Whoopi Goldberg and Pope John Paul II in being created a Colonel of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2007. He lives in London with his wife Fabienne and two bad-tempered cats.



Event Details

Date: 19 December 2012
Venue: The Geological Society, London
Speaker: Dr Ted Nield



Naomi Newbold
Tel: 020 7432 0981
[email protected]