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The Rise of Systematic Biology

Author meltwaterfalls
#1 | Posted: 17 Jun 2011 11:59 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
I was just having a nose around Sweden's tentative list when I stumbled upon this, which took my interest: The Rise of Systematic Biology

In Sweden it is mostly the buildings at Uppsala University associated with Carl Linnaeus that have been put forward it also states that this will be a serial site across 8 countries.
Nomination page:
Since systematic biology is a science based on observations of organisms, a World Heritage Site reflecting the foundation of the science must be defined in areas where descendants still exist of organisms once studied and preserved by scientists. This could be a field collection area or a historical garden.

From what I can pick out it seems these would be in the proposal:
UK: Chelsea Physic Garden, London (just down the road from my office so this may encourage a visit)
Netherlands: Botanic Garden of University of Leiden
France: Jardin des Plantes, Paris
USA: Bartram's Garden, Philadelphia

I guess these are the field collections:
South Africa: Table Mountain National Park/ Cape Floral Kingdom
Japan: Dejima Island? in Nagasaki and Hakone National Park
Australia: Botany Bay National Park, NSW

It also concludes with the following:
Nomination page:
Apart from the component parts described above, it must here be mentioned that the collected individuals, i.e. the museum specimens, once collected from these populations are of uttermost value to science, especially Linnaeus' natural collection kept in London by the Linnean Society of London. These can, however, not be included in this nomination.

I don't know whether this is a viable proposal or not, but it seems to have a little more scope than the Darwin based proposal that the UK has been unsuccessful with.
To my knowledge none of the other sites feature on respective tentative lists (Cape Floral Region is already a WHS though). I haven't heard anything about Chelsea Physic Garden during the recent updating of the UK tentative list, and likewise Batram's Garden may have missed the boat with the recent update of the US tentative list.

Not really sure if there was any point in this posting, but it just interested me and I thought perhaps some others may like it as well.

Author winterkjm
#2 | Posted: 17 Jun 2011 12:47 
While intriguing this proposal seems to be the type of nomination that has many interesting and important sites, but none of OUV by themselves. There does seem to be some similarity between the Uppsala sites and the Darwin sites in the UK, however like meltwaterfalls states there is a bit more scope to the nomination adding some related sites around the world. This is perhaps a positive and a negative, because this smells somewhat similar to other serial nominations where sites of marginal importance were inscribed despite lacking true OUV qualities.

Author Solivagant
#3 | Posted: 17 Jun 2011 12:48 | Edited by: Solivagant 
On June 10 2010 I posted this under the "Future UK approach..." forum (N.b The link doesn't work now)
Chelsea Physic Garden. This is included in the Swedish site for Systematic Biology (site 5).
But I have had no response to my e-mail to the Garden as to whether they are producing a proposal for the UK T List in time for June 11. Although any trans-boundary nomination led by Sweden wouldn't "use up" a UK "nomination slot" it is apparently necessary for all countries to register their individual sites on their respective T Lists as stated on the Swedish site's T list page on the UNESCO Web site. They had better hurry up as Sweden is working towards presenting its nomination in Feb 2011!!

I never did get a reply from the Garden's director and it never did figure in the list of potential UK T List sites - and of course it has missed the boat now for another 10 years or so!

There is currently a series on BBC4 (where else!) called "Botany - A Blooming history". Last week's first episode was called "A Confusion of Names" and followed the history of attempts to classify the plant kingdom. Linnaeus of course figured, but a visit was also paid to the Chelsea Physic Garden. I found the whole "story" of plant classification very interesting and would recommend you take in this episode on iPlayer whilst it is available if you intend visiting the Garden f_Names/

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