Interesting discussion in wikipedia article – Patrick Matthew and Darwin

"Patrick Matthew (20 October 1790 – 8 June 1874) was a Scottish landowner and fruit farmer. He published the principle of natural selection as a mechanism of evolution over a quarter-century earlier than Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. However, Matthew failed to develop or publicise his ideas, and both Darwin and Wallace were unaware of Matthew’s work when they published their ideas in 1858."

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Matthew

The article raises some interesting considerations about the social workings of science.