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  • Cited by 5
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Kang, Hyunsung D. and Lee, Jeongsik J. 2016. Scientific celebrity, competition, and knowledge creation: The case of stem cell research in South Korea. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, Vol. 39, p. 26.

    2015. A Companion to the History of American Science.

    Spencer, Dale C. and Walby, Kevin 2013. Neo-tribalism, epistemic cultures, and the emotions of scientific knowledge construction. Emotion, Space and Society, Vol. 7, p. 54.

    Williams, David M. 2009. Charles Darwin: The ‘Beagle’- Edited by F. Burkhardt. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 98, Issue. 3, p. 705.

    Gapps, Suzanne 2006. Charles Darwin as an Icon. Culture and Organization, Vol. 12, Issue. 4, p. 341.


Charles Darwin as a Celebrity

  • Janet Browne (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2003


Several recent works in sociology examine the manufacture of public identities through the notion of celebrity. This paper explores the imagery of Charles Darwin as a nineteenth-century scientific celebrity by comparing the public character deliberately manufactured by Darwin and his friends with images constructed by the public as represented here by caricatures in humorous magazines of the era. It is argued that Darwin’s outward persona drew on a subtle tension between public and private. The boundaries between public and private were blurred by the ritual of Darwin “showing” himself in the flesh, either at home to visitors or, more rarely, on public occasions. The reputation for privacy and illness that he built up added materially to this public face. By contrast, caricatures tended to depict him as an ape. These apish representations played a significant role in associating Darwin, rather than any other thinker, with the notion of evolution, and in creating an alternative public persona over which he had no direct control.

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Science in Context
  • ISSN: 0269-8897
  • EISSN: 1474-0664
  • URL: /core/journals/science-in-context
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