Challenging The Status Quo: What Charles Darwin Means to H1

Ariel Katz
Sep 17, 2020

Aboard the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin began to formulate theories that were so groundbreaking, he would need twenty years of data collection before he felt confident enough to publish his results. There was also, of course, the very real fear that publication of On the Origins of Species would lead to rejection and scorn. But that didn’t stop him, and it’s that tenacity and vision that drew us to his specific story when we were naming one of our products.

Darwin was just 22 in the 1830’s when he set sail on a five-year voyage in South America. Along the way, the Galapagos Islands proved to be a destination in and of themselves. After collecting his now iconic finch specimens, Darwin sought an idea that could explain the subtle, but critical differences he noticed in their physiologies, diets, and behaviors. Inspired by nature’s incredible convergences and divergences--its diverse adaptability to specific environmental problems--he pioneered the concepts of evolution and natural selection.

His theories contradicted many mainstream beliefs, often religious in origin, that claimed species--and nature--remained unchanging. But Darwin persisted in starting what he saw as a critical discourse around the origins and development of life. Our goal at H1. is to empower scientists and clinicians to see the big picture and focus their efforts in areas where they can have the most meaningful impact on scholarship and treatment. With H1. Darwin, we wanted to transform the way scientists and life science professionals interact with scholarly literature for reviews, collaborations, and their own publishing so that they can build off of and truly understand bodies of existing research, beginning to lay the foundations for more findings.

Darwin viewed his work as a launching point for other scientists and hoped that more naturalist breakthroughs would follow as a result of his writing. As he explained: “in the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches.” Like its namesake, we know that H1. Darwin is the start of a longer discourse and a series of critical investigations into the rich world of biomedical “Big Data.” And, also borrowing inspiration from Darwin, we hope that we and whatever community of users we amass will remain loyal to science, irrespective of any biases or agendas at H1.