“Nearly 100 years after his death, a monument has been unveiled to commemorate Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer of natural selection – the process that drives the evolution of life on Earth. Although he is not a household name, Alfred Russel Wallace was one of the most famous scientists in the world when he died in 1913 aged 90…

The idea of natural selection as the mechanism of evolutionary change occurred suddenly to Wallace while he was suffering from a fever on the remote Indonesian island of Halmahera in February 1858. Wallace wrote down his thoughts and sent them to fellow naturalist Charles Darwin whom he knew was interested in this topic… As the well-known story goes, Lyell and Hooker decided to present Wallace’s essay (without first asking his permission), along with some unpublished fragments from Darwin’s writings on the subject, to a meeting of the Linnaean Society on 1 July 1858. [Read the full text of the Darwin-Wallace Paper here]…

During Wallace’s lifetime the theory of natural selection was widely known as the ‘Darwin-Wallace theory’ but after his death his name slipped into relative obscurity for a variety of complex reasons. The Alfred Russel Wallace Memorial Fund is trying hard to make more people (scientists included!) aware, not only of Wallace’s role as the co-discoverer of natural selection, but also of his many other important and enduring contributions to biology and wide variety of other disciplines.”

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