V0026949 Sir Richard Owen. Photograph by Maull & Polyblank.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
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Sir Richard Owen. Photograph by Maull & Polyblank.
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Dinosaurs, Gorillas, & More: Re-remembering Richard Owen

Sir Richard Owen is often remembered for his massive row with Charles Darwin and Darwin’s followers over the theory of evolution through natural selection. Scientists like Thomas Huxley painted Owen as a backward creationist who didn’t conduct good science. But Owen was much more complex than that. Though he didn’t fully agree with Darwin’s version…

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A Toast to Darwin’s Origin & Lucy’s Discovery

November 24th is arguably my favorite day of the year. Not because it’s Thanksgiving this year, or because ski season has officially begun (though both of those are great), but because a couple of pretty incredible events occurred on this day in history. On November 24th, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published AND…

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Time Traveling in London

As a historian, I frequently feel like a time traveler. Though my readings focus on science, that science is inevitably infused with details of scientists’ lives: their cultural views, their places of work, and more. My readings fill my mind with images of horse-drawn carriages, Victorian tea parties, and hand-written letters. It’s pretty fun. But every…

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Neanderthals and Giant’s Bones

  A Strange Skeleton The bones revealed a human of “extraordinary form,” he concluded. It was January 1857, and Hermann Schaaffhausen had just viewed a fossilized skeleton that was unlike anything he had ever seen. The surviving bits of the skeleton–made up of a partial skull, along with some leg bones, ribs, and other bits…