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By: Lisbet Koerner
298 pages, B/w photo
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"
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