[Daily article] April 16: William T. Stearn

William T. Stearn (16 April 1911 – 9 May 2001) was a British botanist.
Born in Cambridge in 1911, he was largely self-educated. He was
librarian at the Royal Horticultural Society in London from 1933 to 1952
and then moved to the Natural History Museum as a scientific officer in
the botany department until 1976. After retirement, he became President
of the Linnean Society and taught botany at Cambridge University. He is
known for his work in botanical taxonomy, botanical history, and
botanical illustration and for his studies of the Swedish scientist Carl
Linnaeus. He is the author of Botanical Latin, as well as the Dictionary
of Plant Names for Gardeners, a popular guide to the Latin names of
plants. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in
1957. Considered one of the most eminent British botanists of his time,
he is the botanical authority for over 400 plants that he named and
described. An essay prize in his name from the Society for the History
of Natural History is awarded each year.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


The United States Senate ratified the Rush–Bagot Treaty,
which laid the basis for a demilitarized boundary between the U.S. and
British North America.


New Zealand Wars: A minor Māori chief was accidentally shot by
a junior British Army officer in the Petre settlement of New Zealand’s
North Island, triggering the Wanganui Campaign.


American Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across
the English Channel.


Vladimir Lenin returned to Petrograd from Switzerland, and
joined the Bolshevik movement in Russia.


The South Korean ferry MV Sewol sank 1.5 km (0.93 mi)
offshore of Donggeochado, Jindo County, with around 300 of the 476
onboard killed.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

(linguistics) A group of languages sharing a number of areal features
(similar grammar, vocabulary, etc.) which are primarily due to language
contact rather than cognation.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a
foolish thing.  
–Anatole France

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