It’s not always easy to write a short biography that follows the all the guidelines of the Finkbeiner test. It’s the same with even the Reverse Finkbeiner test. However, that’s exactly what I’m going to. Best of luck to myself! Before I give it a shot, what exactly is the Finkbeiner test?
The Finkbeiner Test
The Finkbeiner test is a set of rules to follow when writing the biography of a female scientist. The objective of this test is to be minimally sexist throughout the biography. Many biographies tend to imply that female scientists were able to make all the discoveries they made, “despite” being a woman. The Finkbeiner test was made to prevent such form of sexism. It consists of seven rules that ban the writer from mentioning certain details. Some examples would be the scientist’s husband’s job, the scientist’s child care arrangements or simply, the fact that she’s a woman. The last rule hit me pretty hard, which is why I decided to the Reverse Finkbeiner test instead.
The Reverse Finkbeiner Test
The Reverse Finkbeiner test is including all the details you wouldn’t mention in a Finkbeiner test, in a biography of a male scientist. In my particular case, I’m going to be writing a biography of Charles Darwin.
Charles Robert Darwin was the naturalist, geologist, and biologist who first proposed a mechanism behind the idea of evolution. Although this theory was already proposed, Charles Darwin was the first man to propose an explanation behind it. To this day, his ideas are widely and commonly accepted by people all over the world. While Darwin’s discoveries are popular, his personal life is often unheard of. Before he was a scientist, he was the father of ten children and a husband to his wife. He was an ordinary human being, just like the rest of us.
In 1839, Charles Darwin married his cousin, Emma Wedgwood. She played the often unnoticed role of editing and publishing her husband’s work. As a scientist, Darwin actually had a dilemma about his choice of marriage. He worried most about the consequences of inbreeding. Despite the advice of his first cousin who discouraged the marriage, Charles and Emma married each other. Unfortunately, their children suffered multiple illnesses of different forms as a result of the marriage and three children passed away. Charles was an attentive and loyal father, so he was in despair with the deaths of his children. He, too, also suffered an illness which eventually resulted in death. Overall, we can say that his family’s physical health wasn’t the best. Despite the agony, Darwin was able to continue his studies.
Darwin’s hardships didn’t end with his children’s death. There was also competition in his field which urged him to publish his work even faster. Alfred Russel Wallace was one of his bigger rivals. Though they published their works together in a joint paper in 1858, the competition was never non-existent. Fortunately, Charles published another book on the origin of species soon after, and rapidly rose to fame. Wallace was minimally mentioned thereafter. However, he did indeed play a pivotal role in the theory of evolution.
Darwin continues to be a role model today as scientists use his knowledge to expand our understanding of science. He is a role model for men in general as well. Exploring the depths of science despite his hardships, he is forever a memorable man in history.