2007 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Linnaeus, father of binomial nomenclature. Nature has marked the occasion by publishing a special issue crammed full of Linnaean-inspired thought.

Although trained in medicine and a keen zoologist, Linnaeus is perhaps best known as an excellent botanist – his field trips were said to be so popular that tens of students would accompany him on botanical forays through the Swedish countryside.

Lasting fame for Linnaeus came with the publication of Species Plantarum in 1753 and Systema Naturae (10th ed.) in 1758, where binomial nomenclature was consistently used for plants and animals, respectively, for the first time. 

It has to be noted that the great man was not without a sense of humour, with the suggestion that he name the toad Bufo after the French naturalist and sparring partner, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon!

Further information about Linnaeus can be found at:

Linné on line
Linnaeus link
The Linnaean Society of London (hosting a number of events throughout 2007 to celebrate the Linnean Tercentenary)

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