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What should one expect at a birthday gathering for an idea that suffered disdain from birth, but was later transformed overnight into the ruling global theory of the Earth sciences? Tom Hilde and Richard Carlson (Texas A&M University, College Station, Tex.), under the auspices of the Texas A&M Geodynamics Research Institute, with the cooperation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) , the Inter-Union Commission on the Lithosphere, and the U.S. Geodynamics Committee, convened an unprecedented gathering of the makers of Earth science's modern revolution and a large number of their foremost disciples at Texas A&M April 22– 24 , 1987.

Those who missed the show will have to read for weeks to learn of the panoply of profound new developments across the broad front of research bearing on plate tectonics, but those with an interest in their own intellectual genealogy will not be able to recapture the sense of historic moment that pervaded Rudder Tower Conference Center as many of the old revolutionaries opened windows on the past. Of the 20 key participants or originators who were invited to speak, all but four sent abstracts. Pleased and surprised by this strong response, the convenors found themselves in the rather difficult position of having to limit the number of talks by nonoriginators to 20. The unique assembly also provided the first opportunity to video interviews with more than a dozen of the originators.