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Victorian Scientific NaturalismCommunity, Identity, Continuity$
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Bernard Lightman and Gowan Dawson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226109503

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226109640.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

The Successors to the X Club? Late Victorian Naturalists and Nature, 1869–1900

The Successors to the X Club? Late Victorian Naturalists and Nature, 1869–1900

(p.288) 11 The Successors to the X Club? Late Victorian Naturalists and Nature, 1869–1900
Victorian Scientific Naturalism

Melinda Baldwin

University of Chicago Press

In 1869, the astronomer Norman Lockyer and the London publishing house Macmillan & Company founded a new scientific weekly, Nature. Nature's early success among researchers has sometimes been credited to the support of the X Club. This paper, however, shows that it was the following generation of British men of science who adopted Nature as a central organ of scientific communication. This younger generation saw themselves as the intellectual heirs of scientific naturalists like T. H. Huxley and Joseph Hooker. The paper uses the debates surrounding George J. Romanes's evolutionary theories to examine different generations’ participation in Nature. Older naturalists preferred to conduct scientific debates in literary periodicals, while the younger generation chose Nature over other periodicals when they sought to engage in scientific discussions. This pattern reflects the two generations’ different attitudes towards publishing one's work quickly, financial compensation for scientific writing, and the appropriate audience for scientific debates.

Keywords:   Nature, scientific periodicals, George J. Romanes, evolutionary theory, scientific debates

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