Thomas Wedgwood: the Uncle of Photography

Thomas Wedgwood (1771–1805)

As historians of science are forever reminding us (although nobody listens to those killjoys), we enter dangerous territory when we start to discuss the ‘first’ person to do X, the ‘lone genius’ who invented Y, or the ‘Father of’ Great Idea Z.

W.B. Tegetmeier

WB Tegetmeier

This article was first published on 04-Nov-2012: William Bernhardt Tegetmeier's 196th birthday. For every giant that strides the scientific world like a colossus, there are many thousands more mini-heroes of science whose contributions are sometimes overlooked or forgotten. One of my particular favourite mini-heroes is William Bernhardt Tegetmeier, whose 196th birthday gives me the perfect…

Sir Richard Owen: the archetypal villain

Sir Richard Owen (1804–1892).

What a strange man to be envious of a naturalist like myself, immeasurably his inferior! —Charles Darwin to J.S. Henslow 8th May, 1860 If ever an example were sought of the old dictum that history is written by the victors, we need look no further than that of the brilliant Victorian anatomist and palaeontologist, Sir…