3rd March 2017: The Linnean Society receives the visit of the Embassy of Sweden
Last week, the Linnean Society was honoured to receive the visit of H E Mr Torbjörn Sohlström, Ambassador of Sweden, accompanied by members of the Embassy—Ms Ellen Wettmark (Counsellor, Cultural Affairs); Ms Sophie Tzelidis (Counsellor, Consular Affairs); Ms Anna Granström Livesey (PA to Ambassador); Ms Susanne Rosenberg (Third Secretary, Responsible for Embassy Archive); and Mr Johan Berglund (Counsellor Foreign and Security Policy).
The visit included a tour of our historic Meeting Room and the vault, where our guests were bowled over by the herbarium specimen of Linnaea borealis, Carl Linnaeus’s signature plant; the first edition of Systema Naturae (1735); and the Linnean manuscripts, particularly Linnaeus's famous Lapland diary (1732). These manuscripts are the basis for Linnaeus’s published works and the foundation for modern taxonomy.
Our guests then congregated in our magnificent Library to enjoy a display of memorabilia over a glass of wine. The artefacts on display, gathered by Glenn Benson—Curator of Artefacts—included Linnaeus’s cardboard pencil case and rubber eraser and the Bicentenary Medal (1978), showing the portrait of Linnaeus on the obverse and a tree with the name Systema Naturae written ornately in the branches on the reverse.
The gold medal below was presented to the botanist Sir Joseph Hooker by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences—of which Linnaeus was the first president—to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth. Hooker was almost 90 at the time and unable to travel to Sweden, so it was collected on his behalf by Sir Rennell Rodd. The medal on the right was struck in Sweden and presented to the Linnean Society of London in 1957 to commemorate 250 years since the birth of Linnaeus.
Alicia Fernandez, Events and Communications Manager