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PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Richard Owen (20, July 1804- 18 December 1892). Caracature from Vanity Fair's 'Men of the Day' series March 1st 1873. Owen was a comparative anatomist and palaeontologist who became one of the most famous and politically influential biologists of the Victorian era. His achievements included coining the word Dinosauria (1842 Vol. II Report on the British Reptiles), and establishing the new British Museum of Natural History at South Kensington in 1881. He worked hard and wrote prolifically, but his scientific legacy is limited. Partly this is because of his reluctance to theorize, and partly it is because of his later antagonism towards those who advocated evolution by natural selection (Huxley in particular). Owen's reputation was damaged by his unwillingness to admit mistakes or accept criticism, and a tendency to ruthlessly manoeuvre positions to take credit for discoveries.
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