Charles Darwin's Barnacle and David Bowie's Spider

Charles Darwin's Barnacle and David Bowie's Spider How Scientific Names Celebrate Adventurers, Heroes, and Even a Few Scoundrels

Hardback (12 May 2020) | English

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Synopsis

An engaging history of the surprising, poignant, and occasionally scandalous stories behind scientific names and their cultural significance

Ever since Carl Linnaeus's binomial system of scientific names was adopted in the eighteenth century, scientists have been eponymously naming organisms in ways that both honor and vilify their namesakes. This charming, informative, and accessible history examines the fascinating stories behind taxonomic nomenclature, from Linnaeus himself naming a small and unpleasant weed after a rival botanist to the recent influx of scientific names based on pop-culture icons-including David Bowie's spider, Frank Zappa's jellyfish, and Beyoncé's fly.
 
Exploring the naming process as an opportunity for scientists to express themselves in creative ways, Stephen B. Heard's fresh approach shows how scientific names function as a window into both the passions and foibles of the scientific community and as a more general indicator of the ways in which humans relate to, and impose order on, the natural world.

About the Publisher

Yale University Press

Yale University Press

By publishing serious works that contribute to a global understanding of human affairs, Yale University Press aids in the discovery and dissemination of light and truth, lux et veritas, which is a central purpose of Yale University. The publications of the Press are books and other materials that further scholarly investigation, advance interdisciplinary inquiry, stimulate public debate, educate both within and outside the classroom, and enhance cultural life. In its commitment to increasing the range and vigor of intellectual pursuits within the university and elsewhere, Yale University Press continually extends its horizons to embody university publishing at its best.

Book information

ISBN: 9780300238280
Publisher: Yale University Press
Imprint: Yale University Press
Pub date:
Language: English
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 438g
Height: 149mm
Width: 217mm
Spine width: 27mm