First Paragraph: Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 – 1913), the celebrated British naturalist and social critic, is best known for his independent discovery of the principle of natural selection, and for his key role in the development of the field of evolutionary biogeography. But his interests extended to well beyond these subjects: he was also an important anthropologist, physical geographer, land reform theorist, social critic, and early exobiologist. By the end of his life he was one of the most respected scientists in the world – and this, despite his concurrent attachment to a number of less mainstream side-infatuations including spiritualism, anti-vaccinationism, and phrenology.


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