Ever since the sociologist Robert Merton (e.g. Merton 1957) emphasised the great importance of the
My own research into the influence of Partick Matthew - the originator of macroevolution by natural selection (e.g. Sutton 2016) - has enabled me to realise the contemporary importance of the current question of the precise process of influence of members of the Richard III Society on Leicester University staff. Moreso, some members of the Society, especially John Ashdown Hill (See my earlier Best Thinking blog post), have gone into print in scholarly books to criticise the approach taken by Leicester University to promote its role in the discovery of the grave site or Richard III in a Leicester car park.
Those involved in supposedly independently replicating Matthew's (1831) prior-published discovery (Darwin and Wallace 1858) and Darwin (1859) of the full hypothesis of macroevolution by natural selection, others who are newly discovered (Sutton 2014) to have cited it pre-1858, and those who mocked and disparaged Matthew and platform blocked him from speaking on his discovery, are all long dead. But imagine how things would be if we could actually interview them, rather than have to trawl around for scraps of evidence in the publication record and in their diaries and correspondence archive.
In 100 years from now I wonder what will be the "majority view" story on who has first and foremost priority for the discovery of Richard III's remains in the carpark?
In light of published contestations from members of the Richard III Society, I believe it is essential to the interests of historic and other scholarly veracity on how great discoveries are made that we conduct academic research with members of the Richard III Society and The University of Leicester in order to determine whether due priority is currently being awarded to the right people.
Conflict on the topic of influence and first and foremost priority for great discoveries
Langley et al (2014) - members of the Richard III society - write in their scholarly book: Finding Richard III: The Official Account of Research by the Retrieval and Reburial Project on the topic of discovering the grave of Richard III:
'Regrettably, in view of subsequent events, it needs to be emphasized that no other persons or institutions worked to amass the evidence needed to launch such a project, nor did anyone in Leicester investigate the idea of mounting a search for the king's grave. The reason for this is simple: they lacked the necessary knowledge and incentive. First, work of this nature has always lain in the hands of researchers and historians whom academics (and recently even archeologists) have been pleased to call 'amateurs.'. Second, almost the entire population of Leicester and its archeologists believed the unlikely tradition that the grave had been desecrated and destroyed.'
'In light of David Baldwin's very clear statement as to his view of this likely burial site, it is hard to understand on what basis the University of Leicester should maintain that Baldwin identified Richard's burial place as the Social Services car park...'
University of Leicester affiliated archaeological experts, academics and employed administrators were approached by independent historians, principally by Langley who did know the most likely spot for the exact grave site location, along with Ashdown Hill whose research confirmed the conclusions of a few others in that regard and also pinpointed it. And then University archaeologists were simply paid by Langley - (Langley being the client and the Richard III Society the principal funders) and were told where the body most likely was buried and then directed to dig. Senior archaeologists at Leicester University doubted it was there, but they dug anyway, because they were employed simply as expert archaeological diggers. Even then one of the University staff members negligently struck the skull with a hatchet and damaged it more than it ever had been in the last 500+ years,
'Langley knew of the global reputation of the genetics department of the University of Leicester for its pioneering work in genetic fingerprinting, therefore approaches were made to Dr Turi King, Lecturer in Genetics and Archeology. She agreed that if human remains were found which showed potential for being compatible with those of Richard III, she could arrange to conduct tests to retrieve a mtDNA sample ad to match it...'
'On the morning of 4 February 2013, the University of leicester mounted a media event to announce that the mtDNA of the bones found at Greyfriers site matched that of Richard IIIs living relatives. Dr John Ashdown-Hill, the discoverer of the MtDNA, was excluded from the announcement. The university's Professor of Greek Archeology, and History, Dr Lin Foxhall, who had played no part in the search or retrieval process, took the lead when it came to the historical background. Philippa Langley was allowed to give a short speech at the end [but only] after the the media news feed was cut.'
'FUNDING SOURCES FOR ARCHEOLOGY COSTS EXCLUDING PRELIMINARY DESK-BASED ANALYSIS (£1,140) AND GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR (£5,043)
- Richard III Society and Members - £17, 367 52.8%
- University of leicester £10,000 30.43%
- Leicestershire Promotions Ltd £5,000 15.21%
- Leicester Adult Schools £500 1.52%
- Total £32,867 100%
There are more details of the grievances of these Richard III Society members in their book. I have no intention of stealing their thunder. The book is less than £3 on Amazon Kindle. Please buy it to learn more. There are many far more important revelations inside.
For the historical record: a small sample University of Leicester Academic's Twitter responses to my Tweets on the contents of this book regarding my earlier Best Thinking blog post follow:
While John's contribution isn't disputed, we weren't told where to dig to find Richard's remains! Greyfriars precinct has never been lost! https://t.co/xauQqyGAxn— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 29, 2016
2. Turi King
Turi King - continued....@Turi__King Yes I think it needs researching @rwjdingwall now But as funded sociology project on influence & priority for orignal discovery— Dr Mike Sutton (@Criminotweet) September 30, 2016
@Criminotweet O'Sullivan, D. In the Company of the Preachers.The Archaeology of Medieval Friaries in England and Wales.— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
3. Turi King
. @Criminotweet Why not? In the meantime it would make sense to update your blog to reflect a more balanced view until proper research done.— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
.Dear @Turi__King - To be precise, I wonder if you might kindly look at the second paragraph of my blog and comment? https://t.co/G4MKrDSSfc— Dr Mike Sutton (@Criminotweet) September 30, 2016
Reply by Turi King
.@Criminotweet Not having read the book, afraid I couldn't say what the disconfirming evidence would be. Make that research part your blog?— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
4. Turi King
The said "facts":
Excavation and Reinstatement
University of Leicester*
Richard III Society
Leicester Shire Promotions
Leicester City Council
Leicester Adult Schools
5 Turi King
Turi King continued.@Criminotweet Not read the book but John said to me before dig started that finding Richard would be pure chance. So I'm surprised at this!— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
6. Turi King.@Criminotweet Not read it, as I say. Perhaps he's forgotten? He was as sceptical as we were.— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
Mike Sutton's reply.@Criminotweet !? We have medieval friaries expert: Dierdre O'Sullivan works with ULAS. Sounds like you need to do some homework for blog!;)— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
.@Turi__King Turi Blog presents verbatim published accusations of scholars. I have cited and quoted them. Any disconfirming evidence welcome— Dr Mike Sutton (@Criminotweet) September 30, 2016
7. Turi King
Turi King....Next..@Criminotweet O'Sullivan, D. In the Company of the Preachers.The Archaeology of Medieval Friaries in England and Wales.— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
.@Criminotweet You probably want to research this for your blog so you can make an educated assessment of his claims. My understanding is..— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
Turi King continued...
8. Mike Sutton@Criminotweet My understanding is that friaries come in a set of standard layouts but it's not my field. But do see Dierdre O'Sullvan's work— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
.@Turi__King I will certainly add all dis-confirming evidence Turi Would you post any such evidence as comment on the blog (with citations)?— Dr Mike Sutton (@Criminotweet) September 30, 2016
9. Turi King
10 Turi King.@Criminotweet Not having read the book, afraid I couldn't say what the disconfirming evidence would be. Make that research part your blog?— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
.@Criminotweet Personally I thought it was a great interdisciplinary project with academics & public contributing to an amazing outcome.— Turi King (@Turi__King) September 30, 2016
11. Mike Sutton (October 2nd 2017)
@Turi__King @Turi__King So why this publication by Richard III Soc assertion of big Influence on Uni of Leicester? https://t.co/IKnt5AdAPV pic.twitter.com/5aICfzy2cR— Dr Mike Sutton (@Criminotweet) October 2, 2016
12 Reply from Turi King
You can read my two other blogs on this topic:@Turi__King Thanks. Read book by Ashdown-Hill expecting celebratory collaborative success. Led to second. Each express great dissatisfaction pic.twitter.com/3Ah6oWfmyI— Dr Mike Sutton (@Criminotweet) October 3, 2016
You can read my two Amazon book reviews on the topic
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