Warren Carey

Samuel Warren Carey AO, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (1911–2002), geologist. Graduating from the University of Sydney with a DSc in 1934, after distinguished careers as petroleum geologist in Papua New Guinea and controversial commando during the Second World War, Carey became Tasmanian Government Geologist in 1944. He revolutionised understanding of relationships between geology and mineral occurrence in western Tasmania.

As Professor of Geology at the University of Tasmania from 1946, Carey promoted the theory of continental drift, then considered the realm of scientific cranks. He hosted international symposia in Hobart, the most influential the 1956 Continental Drift symposium, which convinced many and led ultimately to its acceptance. After he retired in 1976, his books promoted the idea of earth expansion to explain continental drift. Well remembered for his stimulating, extravagant teaching methods, he was one of the University's most outstanding scholars.

Further reading: D Branagan et al, 'Samuel Warren Carey', in S Carey, “Knight errant of science” (ed D Branagan), Melbourne, 1990; R McKie, The heroes, Sydney, 1960; P Quilty & M Banks, 'Samuel Warren Carey 1911–2002', Historical Records of Australian Science 14, 2003.

Patrick Quilty