More Linnaeus, less doubt.

Linnaeus dressed in Lapp costume

Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) in Lapp costume.

In Uppsala last year, we didn’t make it to the Linnaean Garden, but honouring Linnaeus’s 300th birthday this year, I decided to make the “father of modern taxonomy” (he came up with the two-part Latin name for living organisms, the binomial nomenclature that is still in use today) the “godfather” of my thesis, for the following reason:

With a kind of get-things-done attitude, Linnaeus pushed ahead with Aristotelian logic under his arm, beating back the tendrils of taxonomic confusion.

(quoted from Stephen T. Asma, Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums)

It’s exactly the attitude you need for academic writing – don’t worry about things you haven’t read or things you’ve read but forgotten or lost in your chaos of notes, books and photocopied articles, or about the quality of your writing – just pretend there’s a system and push ahead.


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