'Incoming! - learning to love the dreaded thunderstone', Royal Ast ronomical Society Lecture Theatre

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An RAS Public Lecture: Incoming! - learning to love the dreaded thunderstoneDr Ted Nield (Geoscientist Magazine)(RAS Lecture Theatre)(A repeat of the earlier lecture held at the Geological Society) Thousands of tonnes of meteoritic material lands on Earth every day, mostly unnoticed. Occasionally in Earth history, very large impacts occur and can have a dramatic effect on the history of life. However, despite what most people think they know about the end-Cretaceous extinction, dinosaurs were not destroyed by a single cause, and large meteorites may not always be harmful to life. Ted Nield surveys the ways impacts have influenced life on Earth, and suggests that, as with ideas, meteorites have 'timeliness', because the effect of any single cause, in human as in Earth history, is controlled largely by the context in which it occurs. Ted Nield, began his career in the oil industry but in 1985 became a science journalist, writing (mainly about Earth sciences) for most UK broadsheet newspapers and popular science magazines and many US news outlets including the New York Academy of Sciences. He published two textbooks of palaeontology in the 1980s, and Dead Clever (1997) a comedy-detective-campus-romance, serialised in the Times Higher Education Supplement, and (loosely) based on his experiences as the media manager and spokesman for the UK university system (1988-1997).Ted now edits the monthly news magazine Geoscientist for The Geological Society of London. His book, Supercontinent – 10 billion years in the life of our planet, was published to critical acclaim in October 2007. Incoming! – or why we should stop worrying and learn to love the meteorite was published in 2011 and in 2012 as The Falling Sky in the USA. His latest book is Underlands – a journey through the lost landscapes of Britain, also published by Granta, 2014.Ted was Chair of the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth Outreach Programme (2001-2008) and Chair of the Association of British Science Writers (2006-2009).