Linnean Society of London
Theory of Natural Selection was first presented to the vast scientific community at the Linnean Society of London (map) some 150 years ago. While both authors, Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace were not presented at this very event, their thoughts on how every living organisms, including human, were explained and still being the corner stone in explaining natural history – the course of how species evolved through time, generation after generation.
Today, the Linnean Society of London is still the powerhouse for academics to present their thoughts on how species survive and adapt to their natural environment. Many of these talks are open to public and you can find more about their upcoming events here, please follow guidelines on each event for registration.
HOW NATURAL SELECTION WAS PUBLISHED
When the concept of Natural Selection was presented at the Linnean Society of London on the 1 July 1858, both Charles Robert Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace were not present at event. Charles was still sadden by the decease of his son Charles Waring Darwin just days ago; meanwhile, Alfred Wallace was still in the far east of Borneo, without knowing that his work will be jointly published even. Tilted as: On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection, the draft of the paper was finalised by both Charles Lyell and Joseph Dalton Hooker before publicly read by the then secretary of the Linnean Society of London, John Joseph Bennett. The reading of their paper did not immediately draw public attention on its possibly controversy. It was until more than a year later, on the 24 November 1859, when Charles Darwin published his book On the Origin of Species that the theory of natural selection became publicly aware.
During the Victorian Era of their time, Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace were very uneven by social status. This can be easily reflected from their titles used in their publications to the Linnean Society of London – Charles was Esq., F.R.S., F.L.S. & F.G.S., while Alfred was Esq. Together with the popularity of Charles’ book On the Origin of Species, his already well established scientific background and his family status, it is rather understandable that Charles Darwin is the more famous and the stronger influencer on the theory of Natural Selection – his statue is still sited front and centre at the stairways of the Natural History Museum London.
Title of each Acronymous are Esq.= Esquire, F.R.S.= Fellow of the Royal Society, F.L.S. = Fellow of the Linnean Society, F.G.S. = Fellow of the Geological Society.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Royce is a wildlife biologist with experiences in Asia and Europe for the past 10 years. He is currently a committee member of Masarang HK, supporting Dr. Willie Smits conservation initiatives in Hong Kong. He is a professional public speaker, tech savvy, enjoys communications and team building. You can find more information and contact him from http://about.me/royceto