Biography and History

Sir Richard Owen was an English biologist, comparative anatomist, and paleontologist. He originally started his education and career by learning medicine, and completed his medical course in St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, where he came under the influence of the eminent surgeon John Abernethy. Owen was the first Hunterian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology at the Royal College of Surgeons in London from 1836 to 1856. (This was a large collection of human and animal anatomical specimens belonging to John Hunter.) He did pioneer work on parthenogenesis and opposed Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. He produced a vast array of scientific work and famously coined the word "dinosaur." One of Owen's greatest achievements was his campaign to get a new home for the natural specimens in the British Museum. This resulted in the now famous Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London. Owen was knighted in 1884.

Source: From the finding aid for C1152