One July 1, 1858, a pair of papers presented to the Linnean Society in London announced the discovery of natural selection to the scientific world. One was by Charles Darwin, the other by Alfred Wallace. Neither man was present at the meeting, which was packed with business items.
At the end of the year, the President of the Linnean Society made his report: “The year which has passed has not, indeed, been marked by any of those striking discoveries which at once revolutionize, so to speak, the department of science on which they bear.”
If only their papers could have been disseminated via an open-access web publication!
On the 150th anniversary, we launch The Evolution and Medicine Review, in hopes that faster better communication can help evolutionary applications to medicine and public health to catch up to those in other disciplines. We hope to help bridge the gap. For details, see About the Evolution and Medicine Review.
For an interesting commentary on the Darwin Wallace affair, and for the source of the wonderful quote in this post, see Darwinmania! by Olivia Judson.
For details of the meeting, see The reading of the Darwin and Wallace papers:an historical “non-event” (pdf), a 1971 paper byy J. W. T. Moody.
For copies of Darwin’s and Wallace’s papers, see the Linnean Society website. They make good reading