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  • Thomas Henry Huxley PC FRS FLS was an English biologist, known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Huxley's famous debate in 1860 with Samuel Wilberforce was a key moment in the wider acceptance of evolution and in his own career. Huxley had been planning to leave Oxford on the previous day, but, after an encounter with Robert Chambers, the author of Vestiges, he changed his mind and decided to join the debate. Wilberforce was coached by Richard Owen, against whom Huxley also debated about whether humans were closely related to apes. Huxley was slow to accept some of Darwin's ideas, such as gradualism, and was undecided about natural selection, but despite this he was wholehearted in his public support of Darwin. Instrumental in developing scientific education in Britain, he fought against the more extreme versions of religious tradition. In 1869 Huxley coined the term 'agnostic' describing his own views on theology, a term whose use has continued to the present day. Huxley had little formal schooling and was virtually self-taught. He became perhaps the finest comparative anatomist of the latter 19th century.

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Year Award category Award winner Winning work Ceremony Achievement level Notes/Description
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  • For his investigations on the morphology and histology of vertebrate and invertebrate animals, and for his services to biological science in general during many past years.
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  • Palaeontology

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