It is not difficult to find metaphors for scientific research as being parallel to crime investigation, whether in true or fictional stories. A classic example is Sherlock Holmes, the great detective in Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, whose trademarks include extensive knowledge of criminology and methodical deduction. To solve the mysteries of nature or the human world, in Doyle’s words (through Holmes), scientists and detectives both require feats of insight to “correctly describe a whole animal by the contemplation of a single bone” (qtd. 14). The heroic scientist to whom Doyle refers is French anatomist Georges Cuvier (1769–1832). Cuvier’s law of correlation deeply influenced his contemporaries’ thoughts on the representation of science. Gowan Dawson’s Show Me the Bone attempts to explain how Cuvier’s axiom triumphed and declined in the mid-nineteenth century and how its residue continued to thrive afterward outside the...
Show Me the Bone: Reconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America
Hsiang-Fu Huang; Show Me the Bone: Reconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 1 June 2018; 12 (2): 211–214. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/18752160-4207236
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