All About Alumni / Autumn 2001
A Geodetic Monument

Sculpture celebrates U of T grad who helped develop the theory of plate tectonics

A new monument commemorates the man who helped develop the theory of plate tectonics. The sculpture was unveiled recently at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto to salute the late J. Tuzo Wilson (BA 1930 Trinity, DSc Hon 1977), U of T’s first graduate of geophysics and a professor of geophysics at the university from 1946 to 1974. After receiving his degree from U of T in 1930, Wilson attended Cambridge and Princeton, earning his doctorate in 1936. He captured several prestigious awards, including the Vetlesen Prize, the earth-sciences equivalent of the Nobel Prize. It wasn’t until after he became a world-renowned geophysicist that Wilson became the Science Centre’s director general from 1974 to 1985. Prior to that, he played an instrumental role in devising the theory about the formation, motion and destruction of the Earth’s crust, including the origin of earthquakes. The J. Tuzo Wilson Geodetic Monument gives the illusion that an iron spike is driving into the Earth’s core, while the plates of the Earth’s crust continue to move.

Reader Comments

# 1
Posted by Scott Anderson on April 6th, 2009 @ 11:04 pm

Your note about Tuzo Wilson mentions various roles he undertook at U of T. However, you did not mention that he was principal of the University of Toronto at Mississauga (Erindale College) from 1967 to 1974. He was so well respected and liked during his tenure here that we like to associate ourselves with Tuzo at every opportunity.

Maryann Wells
University of Toronto at Mississauga

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