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Egenis · Events

Egenis and Centre for Medical History Joint Seminar with Dr Isabelle Charmantier and Dr Staffan Mueller-Wille 'Rewriting the System of Nature. Linnaeus's Use of Writing Technologies'.

Seminar   03.11.2009






Dr Isabelle Charmantier, Research Fellow, Centre for Medical History Dr Staffan Mueller-Wille, Research Fellow, Centre for Medical History and Egenis

Organised by



University of Exeter,Egenis,Byrne House,St Germans Road,Exeter, EX4 4PJRoom no: GF7, Byrne House

Event details

Time: 3:30 - 5:00 PMIn this seminar we want to present first results and further plans from a Wellcome Trust funded research project studying the ways in which Carl Linnaeus assembled, filed, and cross-referenced information about plants and their medicinal virtues. It is a well-known fact that Linnaeus was one of the first to write about a "natural system" of plants and to suggest that plants of the same "natural order" share similar pharmaceutical properties. His manuscripts, held at the Linnean Society(London) and various institutions in Sweden, provide an excellent opportunity to understand how information processing practices determine such ideas. They document, how Linnaeus experimented with a variety of paper-based information technologies -- including commonplace- and notebooks, collections of loose paper sheets, sometimes folded up to form slim files, annotations in interleafed copies of Linnaeus’s own publications, and paper-slips resembling index cards -- throughout his career, and that his "natural system" emerged not out of direct observation of nature, but out of Linnaeus’s day-to-day work of revising and rearranging what he and others had written earlier.

Further details