Darwin's boarding school in his hometowm Shrewsbury

Darwin never received a formal, scientific education. He was never awarded a degree in geology, zoology, or botany. Still he became the greatest naturalist of his generation, and perhaps the greatest ever. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and obtained an ordinary degree course from Cambridge; a degree which normally formed the basis of becoming a parson in 19th century England. This seems far from a focused choice of career and also like a strange way to begin what would turn out to become an amazing scientific career. But both Edinburgh and Cambridge turned out to be important prerequisites in the making of the naturalist Darwin and formed the basis for many of his later ideas.

Peter C. Kjærgaard