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Linnaeus: Nature and Nation

Biography / Memoir

By: Lisbet Koerner

298 pages, B/w photo

Harvard University Press

Paperback | Sep 2001 | #119027 | ISBN: 0674005651
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.95 $37/€33 approx
Hardback | Dec 1999 | #101049 | ISBN: 0674097459
Out of Print Details

About this book

Biography, drawing on poems, notebooks, and secret diaries.
`She skillfully mines archival and printed sources in many languages to recreate for modern readers the extraordinary, heroic, and poignant efforts of Linnaeus and his students to create useful biotechnologies. It was in the course of those labours that he invented the naming and filing system that still brings order to the world's flora and fauna. The Linnaeans gathered the folk names of plants - one student produced lists in 15 languages - because they thought these might reflect unknown uses for this or that specimen. They scoured the earth looking for exotic plants that might be useful to the Swedish economy.' Thomas W. Laqueur, Taxon.

It is commonplace to celebrate [Linnaeus] as the inventor of binomial nomenclature and the founder of modern biological systematics...Lisbet Koerner's fine biography, however, reveals a very different man. Linnaeus attempted to defraud the Uppsala Science Society by doubling his expenses for field work in Lapland (he even drew a map with lengthy and fictive travel routes). He anonymously wrote glowing reviews of his own books for Stockholm newspapers...Finally, and poignantly, Koerner portrays Linnaeus as a man who failed at his life-long goal of making Sweden economically self-sufficient through the science of natural history. - Londa Schiebinger, Science"


Introduction. "To Apply Nature to Economics and Vice Versa" "A Geography of Nature": Natural Philosophy "A Clapper into a Bell": Floral Names "The Lapp Is Our Teacher": Medicine and Ethnography "God's Endless Larder": Theology "A New WorldPepper, Ginger, Cardamon": Economic Theory "Should Coconuts Chance to Come into My Hands": Acclimatization Experiments "The Lord of All of Sweden's Clams": A Local Life "His Farmers Dressed in Mourning": The Fate of Linnaeus' Ideas in Sweden Conclusion. "Without Science Our Herrings Would Still Be Caught by Foreigners": A Local Modernity Appendix: Chronology of Linnaeus and Linnaeana Appendix: Biographical References Abbreviations Notes Works Cited Acknowledgments Index

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Lisbet Koerner is an associate of the Department of the History of Science, Harvard University.

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