Leopold von Buch

Christian Leopold von Buch

1774 (Stolper an der Oder, Prussia, now Germany) – 1853 (Berlin)

Buch was one of the influential Werner’s best-known students, who increasingly questioned Werner’s beliefs about rock-formation, in favour of the plutonist views that still hold today. He met both Humboldts while studying in Freiberg — Alexander (who became a lifelong friend) and he both lodged with Werner, and journeying back from studying Vesuvius with Gay-Lussac, visited Volta in northern Italy. Buch was impressed by Wöhler’s knowledge, helping him get his first job. Contemptuous of the young Agassiz’s glacial theories, Buch shouted at him; Charpentier and Élie de Beaumont joined the two on a fractious hike in the Jura, following Agassiz’s lecture.