Sunday, October 07, 2007
Mr. Flower Power
I am utterly charmed by the Linnaeus 2007 website. Taxonomy has never seemed so hip! Linnaeus, dressed in stylish gray and pink, poses coyly in a field of orange and pink flowers, and apparently has been given the title "Mr. Flower Power." (Who knew Linnaeus was such a hippie? Since he named Cannabis sativa, he might have sampled some as well. In the name of science, of course.) I also love the logo, with stamens taking off into a starry sky like little pollen-bearing rockets. With Linnaeus' 300th birthday this year, and Darwin's 200th in 2009, it's quite the celebratory time in biology-land. Ain't no party like a biology party, hey, ho.
Funny story that is only funny to me: One of my students wrote about Carolus Linnaeus on a recent exam, but got his names crossed up and referred to him as Linnaeus Pauling. Linus Pauling of course was a Nobel Prize-winning chemist who tried and failed to discover the structure of DNA before Crick and Watson succeeded. Linus Pauling has not been mentioned in this class, but I'm sure his name has come up in chemistry classes that student has taken. I respect his ability to synthesize taxonomy and chemistry, and even to demonstrate the concept of the inviable hybrid. Good job! (Note to my students if they are reading this: you don't get bonus points for making me laugh, but you might get a little smiley on your exam, which is way more valuable than bonus points)