In the 1890s four young scientists at Sydney University - two Scots, a Londoner and an Australian - began sustained research into Australian native fauna for which each was awarded the FRS. They all went on to pursue notable careers in the biological sciences, concluding in London 46-8 and Cambridge.
This book follows their careers and enduring friendship exploring in detail the life of its senior member, J.T. Wilson (1861-1945), who was professor of anatomy at Sydney University (1890-1920) and Cambridge (1920-1933) and had abiding interests in science, philosophy, education and military affairs.
The narrative is mainly concerned with issues of historical interest to scientists and medical educationists though some, like Empire relations and the contribution of Scots to Australia's development, will interest a wider readership. Many of the preoccupations of Wilson and his colleagues remain topical: the debate between biological science and religion; the struggle to interpret Darwin's theory without placing Homo sapiens at the top of an evolutionary tree; pure versus applied science; vocationalism versusscholarship in university education.
Table of Contents
1. A Border Scot
3. The Sea and Philosophy
4. Colonial Sydney
5. The Fraternity of Duckmaloi
7. Embryology and the Platypus
8. The Marks of Them That Know
9. Practical Idealist
10. Second Sabbatical
13. Cambridge and British Anatomy
14. 'I am become two bands'
Select Bibliographical Notes on Scientists
Patricia Morison: Biographical Details