The chapter examines the routes to careers in science in mid-Victorian England–the ways in which reputations were made, the roles of patrons, and the practice of pluralism (that is, the accumulation of supplementary examining, cataloguing, consulting and other contracts in order to make a middle class income). By comparing the early careers of Tyndall and Lubbock the chapter shows that scientific recognition in the Victorian period was based on both social status and scientific achievement; recognition came more easily to the well-born than to the lowly. The chapter then examines the earliest efforts of the X network – led initially by Hooker – to reform scientific institutions, for example, to make the elite but moribund Linnean Society useful to serious researchers. More frequent publication of the society’s journal was a priority that the X-men demonstrated again in other societies. By the late 1850s Hooker and his friends were secure enough in their own careers to move beyond personal concerns. They began to promote broader recognition and appreciation of science and scientific men, for example, by getting men of science elected to the elite Athenaeum Club. Their first collaborative efforts to shape public opinion through journalism date from this time.
Keywords: careers in science, patrons, social status and scientific recognition, John Tyndall, John Lubbock, J. D. Hooker, Linnean Society of London, specialist journals, Athenaeum Club, shaping public opinion through journalism
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