Reorientation and Controversy (1895–1899)
The term controversial is conveniently used, by those who are wrong, to apply to persons who correct them.
Bateson (Feb. 1907)
This was a time for reorientation – a lull before the Mendelian storm. Yet the Materials mode of thinking had a momentum from which it was difficult to break. Between 1895 and 1899 Bateson shifted from the role of wandering lone naturalist – observing nature in the wild – to that of a home-based, team experimentalist, collaborating with others in the selection of organisms to breed and in the recording of patterns of inheritance among their offspring. He was no longer an observer and collector of experiments of Nature. Now he experimented on Nature. While a time for reorientation, it was also a time to stop standing aside from the controversies, scientific and otherwise, that sent the gossipy Victorians scurrying to the pages of the daily Times, the weekly Nature, the Fortnightly, and the monthly Atheneum and Nineteenth Century. Bateson was no longer in the...