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History of Biology: The 18th Century

Information and resources available at the Linda Hall Library about the history of biology.


The work of many naturalist explorers like Humboldt (1769-1859) and Bonpland (1773-1858) greatly increased European appreciation of the enormous extent of the diversity and geographical variation of plants, animals, and fungi. During the eighteenth century great labors were dedicated to the collection, preservation, and cataloging of flora and fauna. The need to organize the resultant wealth of information motivated the work of Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), who laid the foundations for the modern system of binomial nomenclature. The chemical discoveries of Lavoisier (1743-1794) were instrumental in the development of physiology and biophysics in the following century.

by Eliseo Fernandez

Take a look at the Library's online exhibit Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679-1859.