New book reveals Charles Darwin’s cultural impact in unprecedented detail

New book reveals Charles Darwin's cultural impact in unprecedented detail

IMAGE: “Darwin: A Companion” lists the true extent of Charles Darwin’s cultural impact over the past 160 years. view more

Credit: National University of Singapore

The largest number of species with the name of a single person is often attributed to the German polymath and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. The impressive list contains around 400 species and includes everything from penguins to perennials. But in a new book, science historian John van Wyhe of the National University of Singapore shows that Charles Darwin, not Humboldt, is the world record holder, eclipsing the previous figure with around 700 eponymous species.

This discovery and hundreds more are revealed in the new book, Darwin: A Companion, which lists the true extent of Charles Darwin’s cultural impact over the past 160 years.

“Everything in this book greatly expands what was previously known about Darwin. For example, we knew that Darwin’s work had been translated into 33 languages. Now we can show that it is actually 64. That makes Darwin by far the most translated scientist in history, ”said Dr van Wyhe, who is from the NUS department.

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