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Darwin's Evolving IdentityAdventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation$
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Alistair Sponsel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226523118

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.001.0001

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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: 22 October 2021



(p.1) Introduction
Darwin's Evolving Identity

Alistair Sponsel

University of Chicago Press

This introduction forecasts the book’s main argument, that caution was not Charles Darwin’s original attitude toward publishing, and lays out what is at stake in examining Darwin’s self-fashioning as a man of science. His reticent approach to publishing on evolution was a conscious attempt to avoid repeating missteps he felt he had taken as a rash young author of geological theories. While this book focuses on Darwin, its purpose is to answer broader questions about science as a vocation and a body of knowledge. Through analysis of how Darwin came to transcend the role of voyaging observer-collector to become a credible author of grand scientific theories, the book will draw lessons about the importance of face-to-face mentorship, the status of theorizing, and the cultivation of audiences in nineteenth-century science. The chapter’s end-notes contain extended discussions of, inter alia, “identity” as a category of analysis, Bruno Latour’s methods in science studies, and the Strong Programme in the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK).

Keywords:   Charles Darwin, evolution, coral reefs, Charles Lyell, Alexander von Humboldt, geology, On the Origin of Species, theories, authorship, identity, science studies

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