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.
"[...] an excerllent biography of a highly regarded figure in early twentieth-century comparative anatomy, a man whose contributions to science and to the intellectual life ofthe country where he spent much of his working life, Australia, have been unduly neglected."
- R.W. Home,
Health and History, Vol. 3, No. 2 (2001), pp. 143-147
"[...] her [Patriacia Morison] biography is a mine of information not only about Wilson and his many asociates, but also about anatomy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the emergence of modern medical education, the development of Australian universities, and the cultural relations between metropolis and perphery in the late Victorian empire."
- Harriet Ritvo (massachusetts Institute of Technology),
Social History of Medicine, Volume 12, Issue 3, December 1999, Page 464,
https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/12.3.464. Published: 01 December 1999
Introduction. Acknowledgements. Illustrations. Abbreviations. 1. A Border Scot. 2. Edinburgh. 3. The Sea and Philosophy. 4. Colonial Sydney. 5. The Fraternity of Duckmaloi. 6. Foundations. 7. Embryology and the Platypus. 8. The Marks of Them That Know. 9. Practical Idealist. 10. Second Sabbatical. 11. War. 12. Expansion. 13. Cambridge and British Anatomy. 14. 'I am become two bands'. 15. Resolution. 16. Epilogue. Bib-liography. Select Bibliographical Notes on Scientists. Patricia Morison: Biographical Details. Index.
The book is 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.