UK Centre for Astrobiology


How to get in touch

By email


By post

Dr S. McMahon

Room 1508

James Clerk Maxwell Building

School of Physics and Astronomy

Peter Guthrie Tait Road

Edinburgh EH9 3FD

United Kingdom

NB: The road is named after a scientist of some importance in the history of planetary science and geobiology. Peter Guthrie Tait (1831-1901) was a physicist known, among other things, for defending Lord Kelvin's erroneous estimate of the age of the Earth (derived from the time required for Earth to cool from a molten state to its present temperature — it was not understood that radioactivity continually replenishes the supply of internal heat). He thought this kind of physics-based argument made theories of evolution over millions of years untenable. “We cannot give [the geologists] more scope for speculation than about ten or (say at most) fifteen million years,” he wrote. If Darwin, Lyell, and the other geologists required more than that to support their evolutionary theories, well, "so much the worse for geology". We try to take a less confrontational approach to interdisciplinary research in the McMahon Group.

Map location