“Soundings” & Marie Tharp

wofsmallgridLast Sunday, The New York Times Book Review ran my review of Hali Felt’s “Soundings,” a biography of oceanic cartographer Marie Tharp. Tharp, the first person to draft a comprehensive map of the sea floor, is one of the least acknowledged, most essential, contributors to what we know about the Earth’s surface.

Here’s a bit of the review:

The only thing mid-20th-century scientists disliked more than being wrong was being told they were wrong by a woman. Marie Tharp, barely acknowledged in her life and nearly forgotten since her death in 2006, frustrated her male colleagues on both fronts. Working at a time when female scientists set off reflex skepticism, Tharp drafted the first comprehensive map of the ocean floor, which led to the acceptance of the once-mocked, now fundamental theory of continental drift. Not bad for someone whose discoveries were initially dismissed as “girl talk.”

 

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