Roger Mason (geologist)

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For other people of the same name, see Roger Mason (disambiguation).

Roger Mason (born 4 May 1941) is an English geologist. He was the discoverer of Ediacaran fossils. He is now a professor at the China University of Geosciences at Wuhan.

Mason grew up in the British Midlands city of Leicester, where he attended Wyggeston Boys Grammar School. In April 1957, while rock climbing with friends in Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire, he spotted what looked like a leaf embedded in the rock. He asked Trevor D. Ford of the University of Leicester to examine it. Ford identified it as a Precambrian fossil and named it Charnia masoni after the forest and Mason.

Mason's discovery was mentioned on the February 2009 David Attenborough documentary Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, and again in Attenborough's 2010 series First Life and the documentary that accompanied it, Attenborough's Journey. Attenborough, a keen fossil hunter as a boy, mentioned that he attended Wyggeston a few years ahead of Mason, and having been in the same part of Charnwood a few years before Mason, but the prevailing wisdom at the time was that the rocks were too old to bear fossils and so Attenborough did not search them.