Born on May 23, 1707, Carl Linnaeus would rise to such a level of greatness that the philosopher Jean-Jaques Rousseau once said “Tell him I know no greater man on earth,” and was heralded by many of his contemporaries and apostles as Princeps botanicorum - the Prince of Botany. This praise was not without merit: he’s the reason we name almost everything in biology the way that we do. Prior to Linnaeus, the science dealing with naming, organizing, and classifying organisms, called taxonomy, was a disorganized and confusingly complex mess. The word taxonomy is derived from an irregularly-conjugated Ancient Greek word taxis which means arrangement, and the Ancient Greek suffix -nomia, derived from the Ancient Greek wordnemein (νεμειν), meaning to manage.
Linnaeus had a passion for botany, and while he went to school to study medicine, his long-term goals always included learning about plants. At 25, he won a grant to travel to Lapland and document the local flora and fauna. While there, he began to classify the flowers he found with what we now know as the bionomial classification system - from the Latin bi, meaning two, andnominus meaning name. Prior to this system, species were given long, many-worded descriptive names, and there were several competing outlines for classifying plants and animals into groups, none of which were particularly accurate or helpful to a scientist not intimate with the specific branch of biology the outline was designed for.
The binomial classification system uses two identifiers for a species - the “generic name” (also known as its genus), and the “specific” name (also known as the species). Linnaeus introduced this system in his book Systema naturae, first published in 1735. Even though the first edition was basic and just twelve pages long, it introduced to the scientific community a system that was simple, understandable, easy to remember, and easy to add new species to. Throughout his life, Linnaeus and his apostles continued work on Systema naturae, and by its 10th Edition in 1758, it classified over 4400 species of animals, and 7700 species of plants.
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Image of Carl Linneaus in the public domain.
Image of the title page of Linnaeus’ thesis Praeludia Sponsaliorum Plantarum on plant sexual reproduction, written when he was a 21 year old first year student at Uppsala University that launched his career. Within a year of this thesis, Linnaus was lecturing to massive classrooms of 300 or more students-while still a student himself!
Guest post by Arallyn, a humanoid from the third rock from the sun who is fascinated by science and who runs the fantastic blog biomedicalephemera.tumblr.com when she isn’t filling her mind with scientific trivia. Check out and share her cool blog-she has a great eye! Someday she will be curating major museums and you will say you remember reading her awesome blogs.
Since some of you have asked us how we do what we do, we decided to put together a series of posts to give you an idea of what it looks like behind the scenes at Lensblr. “The Dark Side of the Moon” is a direct reference to something we can never see and does not refer to darkness as in the absence of light, but to the unknown.
Lensblr is the only major photography curation blog that has developed its own database and administrative interface that helps us to manage every aspect of our operation - from curating images, reviewing submissions, ranking via voting, verifying ownership, queuing of images by the editors for publication, senior editor peer review, publication, tracking the performance of the image from the time we publish it, to dealing with membership submissions - all of which works together holistically. This one-of-a-kind platform has been in use for over 4 years now, and was created by one of Lensblr’s founders, Felix Bonkoski, and it is far more impressive than can be imparted by the screenshots we will share with you. What you will see in this series of posts, are but a few of the most important pages that we use in the process of bringing you, our 1.83 million followers, the best and most diverse photographic content on Tumblr. Some blogs say they are where the great photographers meet, but here at Lensblr, we are where the great photographers get published and recognized.
Illuminating Lensblr: The first, the original and the only curated photography blog dedicated to serving allOriginal Photographers and Photographers on Tumblr.