Linnaeus at Work


Linnaeus at Work

A Linnean Lunchtime Lecture

12:30 Wednesday 7th October 2015

first bio-information crisis

As a consequence of overseas discoveries, early modern scientists were faced with what has been termed the ‘first bio-information crisis’. The sheer amount of exotic, hitherto unknown species that reached the shores of Europe forced scientists to reconsider the ways in which they wrote and thought about the natural world.

The naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778) has been described as a "pioneer in information retrieval", due to the idiosyncratic ways in which he assembled, filed, and cross-referenced information about the natural world. The collection of Linnaean manuscripts held at the Linnean Society of London, mark a hugely important point in the history of writing science and are an incredible snapshot of science 250 years ago.

For today’s Lunchtime Lecture, Isabelle Charmantier, who has spent the past six years working on the Society’s collection of Linnaean manuscripts, will show some of the wonderful, bizarre and beautiful highlights from the collection and explain how they mark a seismic shift in the way in which scientists catalogued the natural world.

Linnean Lunchtime Lectures are free and open to all. Doors open at 12:00 and tea and coffee will be served in the library following the event.

Image (c) The Linnean Society of London