• book

From the Publisher

In the mid-1850s, no scientist in the British Empire was more visible than Richard Owen. Mentioned in the same breath as Isaac Newton and championed as Britain’s answer to France’s Georges Cuvier and Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt, Owen was, as the Times declared in 1856, the most “distinguished man of science in the country.” But, a century and a half later, Owen remains largely obscured by the shadow of the most famous Victorian naturalist of all, Charles Darwin. Publicly marginalized by his contemporaries for his critique of natural selection, Owen suffered personal attacks that undermined his credibility long after his name faded from history.

With this innovative biography, Nicolaas A. Rupke resuscitates Owen’s reputation. Arguing that Owen should no longer be judged by the evolution dispute that figured in  only a minor part of his work, Rupke stresses context, emphasizing the importance of places and practices in the production and reception of scientific knowledge. Dovetailing with the recent resurgence of interest in Owen’s life and work, Rupke’s book brings the forgotten naturalist back into the canon of the history of science and demonstrates how much biology existed with, and without, Darwin

Published: University of Chicago Press an imprint of UChicagoPress on
ISBN: 9780226731780
List price: $35.00
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Richard Owen: Biology without Darwin
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.

Related Articles

Nautilus
1 min read
Science

Spark of Science: Robbert Dijkgraaf: The director of the Institute for Advanced Study on the wonders of his childhood attic.

Robbert Dijkgraaf will sometimes let himself drift back to his childhood attic in the Netherlands. It was there that he did some of his first physics experiments, playing with discarded binocular optics that his father kept stacked in boxes. As he has risen to take the leadership of the Institute for Advanced Study, one of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, those early experiences have not lost their power. “It’s very important to go back to the origin of your passion,” he says. They have also helped to shape his ideas about science education. Like many educators we talk to, D
Nautilus
5 min read
Science

Why “Natural Selection” Became Darwin’s Fittest Metaphor

Some metaphors end up forgotten by all but the most dedicated historians, while others lead long, productive lives. It’s only a select few, though, that become so entwined with how we understand the world that we barely even recognize them as metaphors, seeing them instead as something real. Of course, why some fizzle and others flourish can be tricky to account for, but their career in science provides some clues. Metaphors, as we all by now know, aren’t just ornamental linguistic flourishes—they’re basic building blocks of everyday reasoning. And they’re at their most potent when they recas
Nautilus
7 min read
Science

The Last Word with Jonathan Weiner: The more science knows, the more rich and mysterious the world becomes.

Jonathan Weiner is one of our favorite science writers. He animates topics like evolution and genetics with personal stories about pioneer scientists that read like adventures you don’t want to end. You can go to the Galapagos Islands to marvel at blue-footed boobies, but if you want to appreciate the importance of the islands in the history of science, you can’t go without reading The Beak of the Finch, Weiner’s 1994, Pulitzer Prize-winning book about biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant. It tells the story of evolution in microcosm, through a bright cinematic focus on Darwin’s finches. You ca