In our children’s audiobook ‘Lost on Infinity’ that’s featured in our Kid’s Stories, Science & Secrets Podcast we talk about Richard Owen. There’s more about him below but we thought you might like to see a picture of him… good luck sleeping tonight!!
Sir Richard Owen was a prominent British scientist born in 1804. He’s celebrated for his groundbreaking work in paleontology and his instrumental role in founding the Natural History Museum in London. Owen’s legacy is not only marked by his significant scientific contributions but also by the controversies that surrounded him.
In the early 19th century, as the world began to uncover the fossils of huge, ancient reptiles, Owen recognized the necessity for a term to categorise the creatures. Calling upon the Greek words ‘deinos’ (terrible) and ‘sauros’ (lizard), he created the term ‘dinosaur,’ meaning “terrible lizard.” This term not only simplified the study of these ancient creatures but also transformed the field of paleontology, remaining in use to this day.
However, Richard Owen was not without controversy and had many scientific disputes with his contemporaries, most notably with Charles Darwin, over the concept of evolution. Owen was critical of Darwin’s theory of natural selection, and their public disagreements became part of history. Despite these controversies, Owen’s dedication to paleontology was extraordinary. His remarkable examination and classification of various dinosaur species contributed massively to our understanding of them, notably their anatomy and evolutionary history. He also founded the Natural History Museum in London, which houses a remarkable collection of dinosaur fossils and other natural wonders.