At the end of the year 1858, the president of the Linnean Society of London—the preeminent scientific society in England at the time—summed up the year in science as follows:
1858 has not, indeed, been marked by any of those discoveries which at once revolutionize, so to speak, the department of science in which they occur. —Thomas Bell
Six months earlier on July 1, 1858, Charles Darwin and Russell Wallace’s ground-breaking papers introducing the concept of Natural Selection to the world were presented at a meeting of this very same Linnean Society.
Maybe the president of the Society was absent that day.