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Now fundamental to our understanding of Earth science, the theory of continental drift was highly controversial – if not outright derided by the majority of the scientific community – when the German geophysicist Alfred Wegener first proposed it in 1912. This lively short animation from the Royal Institution chronicles how the American geologist Marie Tharp’s tireless and brilliant work helping to map the ocean floor during the mid-20th century – which included battling endemic sexism – forced a massive paradigm shift that led to plate tectonics gaining widespread acceptance among scientists.
Director: Rosanna Wan
Producer: Ed Prosser
Mood and emotion
‘Let me dream you into my reality’: memories illuminate an unthinkable isolation
Journey deep into the Philippine forest in search of the world’s largest, rarest eagle
What does an AI make of what it sees in a contemporary art museum?
Fairness and equality
How the first woman of colour to be elected to the US Congress remade education
History of ideas
Tantra is, and was, a subversive philosophy of feminine power
Rituals and celebrations
From roaring fire and molten glass an artist creates a healing ritual
Ecology and environmental sciences
Producing food while restoring the planet – a glimpse of farming in the future
Ancient Greek sculptures were colourful. Why does the white marble ideal persist?
From zero to 5,000 – music and visuals express 30 years of exoplanet discoveries