Funding award could secure Carse man’s scientific legacy
Controversy: Many believe great work by Darwin was inspired by Matthew
A project to celebrate the legacy of a Tayside man credited with discovering the process of natural selection 30 years before Charles Darwin, has been awarded Heritage Lottery funding.
The Carse of Gowrie Sustainability Group (CoGSG) will receive £10,000 for the Patrick Matthew Memorial Project which includes a festival weekend from September 30 to October 1
“This project, which is two years in the making, will create a story-map and trail for people of all ages to discover Patrick Matthew’s Carse and his contribution to science, orchards, redwoods and social justice,” said Fiona Ross, CoGSG chairwoman.
“Securing the Heritage Lottery funding promotes a memorial to his legacy for local residents and Matthew’s descendants.”
The group is working with Matthew’s descendants, including Howard Minnick, and expert Dr Mike Sutton from Nottingham Trent University to promote his legacy.
Dr Sutton maintains Darwin’s book Origin of Species, published in 1859, had been heavily influenced by Matthew’s work, On Naval Timber and Arboriculture, published in 1831, which contains the complete hypothesis of the theory of natural selection.
“In actuality, it is Scotland and its people who have been most short changed by this deception,” said botanist and conservationist Mr Minnick.
“Therefore, it is they and Scotland who need to recover this heritage taken from them. That is what I hope to accomplish and help to bring about with this memorial project.”
It was Matthew who introduced the Californian giant sequoia redwood to the Inchture and Errol area. There are moves to establish a genetic reserve in Scotland as redwoods are depleting in the US due to global warming.
Above: Charles Darwin, whose Origin of Species book may have been influenced by an earlier work by Carse landowner Patrick Matthew, right.