Editorial: Darwin Year

Journal of the History of Biology, Feb 2009

Paul Farber

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Editorial: Darwin Year

Theodosius Dobzhansky, ''Biology, Molecular and Organismic'', American Zool- ogist Editorial: Darwin Year - organizing theory of the life sciences; as Dobzhansky phrased it, nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.1 During the first 30 years, the JHB published roughly 40 articles per decade on Darwin or Darwinian evolution. Many of these have become classics that reveal Darwins intellectual development as well as the major changes that characterize the history of evolutionary thought after him. There has been a drop over the past 10 years in the number of articles on these subjectsabout 25 articles have been published in that period which partly reflects shifts in the overall perspective of our fieldmore attention to social context of science, less on intellectual history, and increased research on contemporary topics in the life sciences, especially molecular and experimental biology. The percentage of effort devoted to Darwin and the subsequent history of his theory, mirrors the discipline of the history of biology. Darwin and Darwinian evolution, nonetheless, continue to attract significant scholarly effort, and if the JHB has not become the Journal of Darwinian Studies, it still receives many submissions on the topics and continues to publish regularly on them. For this anniversary year, there will be a number of interesting Darwinian articles, and, in addition, we have asked some prominent historians to contribute essays in our Documents and Essay section. We shall have an essay in each of the next issues of this volume that explore important subjects: our current knowledge about Darwins life, the context of his theory, and the development of our modern theory. And, dont forget to toast Charles on February 12, and the Origin on November 24. EDITORIAL


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Paul Farber. Editorial: Darwin Year, Journal of the History of Biology, 2009, 1-2, DOI: 10.1007/s10739-008-9172-x