Wegener, Alfred


German astronomer, meteorologist, and geophysicist born in Berlin (1880-1930). Wegener pioneered the use of balloons to track air circulation and wrote a meteorology textbook that became the standard in Germany. His most famous work is the theory of continental drift, which he developed based on how the coastlines of Africa and South America fit together. In 1915, Wegener published his theory in The Origins of Continents and Oceans. Despite additional evidence for this theory (including the continuity of geologic formations and fossil distributions in now widely-separated continents), it did not gain acceptance in the scientific community until the 1960s, long after his death.

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