The costs of being a restless intellect: Julian Huxley's popular and scientific career in the 1920s

Julian Huxley’s contribution to twentieth-century biology and science popularisation is well documented. What has not been appreciated so far is that despite Huxley’s eminence as a public scientific figure and the part that he played in the rise of experimental zoology in Britain in the 1920s, his own research was often heavily criticised in this period by his colleagues. This resulted in numerous difficulties in getting his scientific research published in the early 1920s. At this time, Huxley started his popular science career. Huxley’s friends criticised him for engaging in this actively and attributed the publication difficulties to the time that he allocated to popular science. The cause might also have its roots in his self-professed inability to delve deeply into the particularities of research. This affected Huxley’s standing in the scientific community and seems to have contributed to the fact that Huxley failed twice in the late 1920s to be elected to the Royal Society. This picture undermines to some extent Peter J. Bowler’s recent portrayal of Huxley as a science populariser
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2009.03.006
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Evolution: The Modern Synthesis.Julian Huxley - 1944 - Philosophy 19 (73):166-170.

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