Edward Mills


Edward Mills FRMetS

On the recommendation of Committee of the Society’s Special Interest Group on the History of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, the Society awards the Canadian oceanographer and historian of science Eric L. Mills the Jehuda Neumann Memorial Prize for 2010 prize for his recently published book on the history of scientific work on ocean circulation, The Fluid Envelope of our Planet; how the study of ocean currents became a science (University of Toronto Press, 2009).  Eric is one of a rare species, having held chairs in both science and the history of science.  The book begins with  early ideas and controversies about ocean circulation in the 19th century and then describes the birth of dynamical oceanography in Scandinavia in the early 20th century and how knowledge of  this approach spread in different centres in Europe and North America, one consequence being the appointment of a Norwegian, H.U. Sverdrup, to head the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1936 and subsequent developments there, culminating in the important work of Henry Stommel and others after World War II.  As with all Eric's work this book is impeccably researched and written and is a definitive account of the subject.