Chapter 3

No future in plate tectonics

“The notion of spending my whole life doing plate tectonics I found extraordinarily depressing.”

Story

The pace of change was very fast – and frightening. “All this happened before I had even the most junior position as an academic,” says McKenzie. “I had rather looked forward to spending my life on what I had put all this intellectual effort into. After the dust had settled, I thought that it would see me through, I thought I would get a job, but what I wondered for a long time was whether I was going to be one of those scientists who has one really good idea in their twenties, and that’s it. The notion of spending my whole life doing plate tectonics I found extraordinarily depressing.”

ARCHIVE REFERENCE: LDGSL/1107/A/1/7
Letter from Drummond ‘Drum’ Matthews, Department of Geophysics and Geodesy, University of Cambridge, [1969], finds the department a bit depressing as the staff are ageing, stating that the only creative bright light is being told of the work that McKenzie is doing and therefore encouraging McKenzie to take up the SAR or ADR post which has been offered.