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Título : One Skull and Many Headlines: The Role of the Press in the Steinau Hoax of 1911
Autor : Hochadel, Oliver
Palabras clave : Controversy
Human evolution
Newspaper clippings
Science and the press
Fecha de publicación : 2017
Editor: John Wiley & Sons
Citación : Centaurus : doi:10.1111/1600-0498.12121 (2017)
Resumen: [EN] In May 1911 a seemingly spectacular discovery from the ‘Devil’s Cave’ near Steinau, east of Frankfurt caught the attention of German anthropologists. Soon a debate ensued whether the skull was prehistoric or of a rather more recent age. This controversy nearly exclusively unfolded in the newspapers. It was too brief to materialize in scholarly publications because after 2 months it was revealed that the skull had been ‘planted’ by a prankster. This case shows that the press served as a ‘meta-medium’ for scholarly disputes, but also points to the crucial material dimension of newspaper articles. The actors wrote many articles themselves but they also observed the press systematically, cut out articles, compiled them, cited them in their letters, glued them into their diaries and passed them on. The newspaper articles were the fuel of the debate and the raw material of knowledge in themaking. In the Steinau hoax German anthropologists found themselves in a contradictory position: they were quick to dismiss the press as sensationalist, while at the same time they used the newspapers to voice their own interpretation of the discovery.
Versión del editor: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1600-0498.12121
URI : http://hdl.handle.net/10261/149952
DOI: 10.1111/1600-0498.12121
ISSN: 0008-8994
E-ISSN: 1600-0498
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