UCSC Review Summer 1996
Association funds Visiting Professor
Hugh S. Torrens, a member of the earth sciences faculty at the University of Keele in England, served as the Alumni Association's Distinguished Visiting Professor during spring quarter. Torrens is an internationally recognized expert in the history of earth science and technology, paleontology, and stratigraphy (the study of the strata and the distribution and age of rocks). Known for his use of untraditional nonprinted historical sources, he is the president- elect of the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences. One genus and three species of fossil ammonites have been named in his honor.
Torrens's Crown College class, History of Science and Technology, focused particularly on Great Britain during the Industrial Revolution.
During his spring-quarter visit to campus, Torrens also gave several public talks. The first was a history of a heretofore underappreciated British "fossilist" named Mary Anning (1799- 1847). Another described the growth of "dinomania," which, according to Torrens, "has occurred too independently of the growth of scientific knowledge about dinosaurs."
The Alumni Association's Distinguished Visiting Professor- ship brings outstanding scholars and teachers to UCSC for one quarter. The professorship rotates among the eight colleges. It was established in 1982 with a $250,000 endowment funded by association dues income and donations from alumni.