It is always important to understand the past and the contributions made by pioneers in science that make it possible for emerging technologies and information sciences to continue to evolve and thrive in the 21st century. In the world of taxonomy, that pioneer is most definitely Carl Linnaeus. This was brought to us by The Hindu in their article, “Know the scientist: Carl Linnaeus.”
Often referred to as the father of taxonomy, Linnaeus was a Swedish botanist who devised the binomial classification system, which formed the foundation of our modern taxonomic system. His classification uses the dual “genus, species,” nomenclature to classify organisms.
Son of a pastor and an amateur botanist, the love of nature was instilled in Linnaeus and led to him studying medicine and science at the University of Lund and later in Uppsala University. At the time, training in botany was part of the medical curriculum, as doctors had to prescribe drugs derived from medicinal plants. But memorizing scientific plant names was difficult – each plant was known by a long description in Latin.
Linnaeus’ gift to science was taxonomy. While enrolled at the University, he published his famous Systema Naturae – a new way of classifying living organisms. Over the years, Linnaeus revised this classification system, which soon became a huge, multivolume work.
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Melody K. Smith
Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.