Scientific discoveries can happen anytime anywhere and be announced (be made public) anytime anywhere.
But scientific discoveries are only in turn "discovered" by the most powerful scientific, political, economic, media elites (ie made popular) when it suits the spirit of their particular place and time.
So we have Eugenics (controlling the gene pool) - universally popular in 1928 and universally denigrated in 1998 --- while the anti-eugentics of uncontrollable HGT (horizontal gene transfer) was universally ignored in 1928 and universally supported in 1998.
Eugenics did not emerge into the popular domain simply because Galton announced it, but only when the elites of his time and place took it up with enthusiasm instead of ignoring it - as they later did HGT.
Galton's scientific discovery soothed their deepest emotional fear about all the intermingling thrown up by the same Modernization processes they were leading (and cheering on).
But the later scientific discovery of HGT ( promoted most ardently by Martin Henry Dawson) only fuelled that deep fear and revulsion.
For Modernity/Eugenics ( the two basically mean the same thing) was the shiny public - daytime - face of their deepest darkest nighttime fears.
It was their way of trying to control the processes they had unwittingly unleashed --- their attempt to put the modernization genie back in the bottle while still enjoying all the fruits of its successes.
If I were as scared and revulsed by the loss of hegemonic control as these elites were, I'd ignore HGT too....