Private College Drops Famous Botanist Linnaeus From Arboretum For Racial Reasons | Don’t miss it William M. Brito October 17, 2021 Private University After a board vote late last month, Gustavus Adolphus College officially renamed its arboretum by removing a reference to Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus. The Arboretum at Gustavus Adolphus College has also removed a bust of Linnaeus, which will be in storage for now. The decision to drop Linnaeus’ name comes after the scientific community has re-examined his work in recent years in light of his contributions to racist scientific theories. Linnaeus lived in the 1700s and is known as the “father of modern taxonomy” for his work to simplify the process of scientific designation and cataloging of species. The botanist invented the naming system known as binomial nomenclature, or organization of species, using two names: its genus and the specific title of the species. Think homo sapiens Where tyrannosaurus rex. But Linnaeus also organized humans into four subspecies based on race and continent of origin, which formed the basis of scientific racist thought and ideas in the 19th and 20th centuries. As discussions of systemic racism have progressed in recent years, scientists have debated Linnaeus’ influence on flawed scientific thinking about race. As a result, students and faculty approached college officials in 2018 to change the name of the old Linnaeus Arboretum. “It was really a bigger problem than Gustavus,” said Scott Anderson, chairman of the board of Gustavus Adolphus College. The board approved a task force late last year made up of students, faculty and community members to explore the issue. The group reported regularly to the board, which prompted a working group of directors to review the recommendations last summer. The members of the board of directors finally decided at the end of September to remove the name and bust of Linnaeus from the arboretum. “Part of that was to remove the Linnaeus controversy as the focal point for the arboretum, which is a beautiful, natural place on campus,” Anderson said. “But then, sort of the next step – and it’s in progress – is how to tell the whole story of Linnaeus’ work and influence?” The board gave Gustavus Adolphus president Rebecca Bergman and senior officials the power to form another working group to explore how Gustavus will commemorate Linnaeus in the future. This will likely include what to do with the Linnaeus bust, which will be professionally cleaned and maintained in the meantime. The arboretum was established in 1973 and named in honor of Linnaeus in 1988. Colleges and universities across the United States have discussed renaming buildings and programs or removing monuments in recent years as historical figures’ issues with race become known. Officials at Minnesota State University discussed last spring whether to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln from the Centennial Student Union. Students and faculty spoke of Lincoln’s role in approving the hanging of 38 Dakota men in Mankato following the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, the largest mass hanging in the world. history of the United States. A task force recommended that MSU do more to educate people about Lincoln’s role in the hanging, but did not support the removal of the statue. Regents at the University of Minnesota took no action in 2019 to rename several buildings that honored former university administrators who played a role in campus segregation, but university officials reported this summer that they could create a renaming process for buildings after a few decades or so. Anderson said he understood that changing the name of the arboretum could spark controversy, but that it could also be a good learning opportunity. “I think the reality is that we will probably talk more about Linnaeus and more people will know the full story of Linnaeus’ work because of it,” he said. Related posts: The Liberty Institute at UT Austin? What is it, teachers ask Michigan Senior Doc Khaldun Leaves COVID State Role for Private Sector Complete list of proposed private universities awaiting final FG approval and their locations ▷ Nigeria news University of Delhi: exploding to the brim Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.