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Matthew (1867-09-13)


Mr Matthew’s Papers. Dundee Advertiser, Friday 13 September 1867, p.4 col.6 (pdf image)

(Letter written Sep 12 1867, published Sep 13 1867)
Matthew’s letter of complaint regarding his treatment by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, not only for rejecting the majority of papers he submitted to the BAAS meeting in Dundee (including one on natural selection) but also for side-lining the reading of his one accepted paper. Regarding the subject of natural selection, Matthew notes that “others were allowed to speak upon it, and its parent denied to do so”. A précis of Matthew’s accepted paper on economics can be found in Ag Journal Articles: 1867c.



Sir,— The conduct towards me of the soi-disant British Association for the Advancement of Science has been such that I consider it right to lay the subject before the public. I gave in to their Assistant-General Secretary nine papers to be read. Of these they rejected seven and admitted two, one of the latter, on Botany, I withdrew, as I thought it required the rejected to appear along with it. The other I did not withdraw, as it had an immediate importance, but which the Society managed, by delaying the reading till the last, not to read.

I will match the importance of these nine papers, in a national point of view, against all that was read at the Dundee meeting, of which the public will have an opportunity to judge. With regard one of these papers, on what is termed Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection, but which theory was published by me about thirty years before Darwin (honourably acknowledged in his last edition by Darwin), at a time when man was scarcely ready for such thoughts, I surely had the best right to be heard upon this subject. Yet others were allowed to speak upon it, and its parent denied to do so. Such is the conduct of a Society terming itself the British Association for the Advancement of Science.— l am, &c.,

Gourdiehill, 12th Sept. 1867.

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