Barbarous binomials

June 16, 2009 at 5:27 pm Leave a comment

Just came across a wonderful quote from the (mostly-reliable) Wikipedia. Apparently, in 1865, the British government was trying to save money by cutting science funding (plus ca change…). In a report to parliament, it was claimed that work at Kew Gardens, which was aimed at a systematic classification of plants from across the British Empire, amounted to nothing more than

“attaching barbarous binomials to foreign weeds.”

So soundbites are nothing new either, it would seem…

(Just to be clear, the binomials in question are the Latin two word species/genus definitions established by Carl Linnaeus and nothing to do with binomial series in maths.)

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Is the BNP racist? Pleasingly dull

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