London, United Kingdom
1841 Richard Owen Coined 'dinosaur'
Paul D Stewart
Photograph - Photograph
Richard Owen (20, July 1804- 18 December 1892) 1894 engraving from an 1840's painting by Pickersgill, later hand colouring. Owen was a comparative anatomist and palaeontologist. He coined the word Dinosauria in a presentation at a meeting of the British Association of the Advancement of Science in August 1841 (1842 Vol. II Report on the British Reptiles). Later he lead the first reconstruction of life-like dinosaurs in the Crystal Palace grounds at Sydnham Park (open 1854). In 1881 he established the new British Museum of Natural History at South Kensington with dinosaurs on prominent display. He worked hard and wrote prolifically, but his scientific legacy is limited. Owen's reputation was damaged by his unwillingness to admit mistakes or accept criticism, and a tendency to ruthlessly manoeuvre positions to take credit for discoveries.
May 7th, 2013
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