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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.

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05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net

Tue 24 Apr 2007

Linnaeus 300 (01/30) - the count down to Linnaeus' 300th birthday begins!

Category : linnaeus300

Photo (1 of 30): Cancer longimanus L., 1758, provided by Tan Swee Hee.
Swee Hee has visited Uppsala to consult Linnaeus' specimens.

A universal scientific language

Some 15 years ago on a damp night in Lim Chu Kang mangroves, Singapore, I searched for crabs with mangrove biologist Professor Yukio Naksone from Okinawa, Japan. He did not speak much English at the time and I knew no Japanese. However, that night we were able to communicate - yelling across the mud to each other words in a foreign language that neither spoke. The names of all plants and animals were two parts, and were all in Latin - Episesarma versicolor, Selatium brocki, Metopograpsus latifrons, Rhizophora apiculata, Excoecaria agallocha and Acanthus ilicifolius, to name a few. We laughed with joy at how effectively we were able to communicate!

That universal system of naming and classifying plants and animals which allowed us to communicate so well was introduced by Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist, Carolus Linnaeus (1707 - 1778). This universal scientific language he provided is one of the reasons many taxonomists, biologists and scientists around the world are joining the Swedes in marking the 300th anniversary or tercentenary of his birthday.

Celebrating Linnaeus 300th birthday

In the month leading to his birthday on 23rd May 2007, Raffles Museum News will particpiate in this celebration by bringing you 30 images of species described by Linnaeus himself, one to mark each decade since his birth!

In each post, we will also include some information about Linnaeus and a link to news of celebrations in Sweden and around the world - be it conferences, seminars, festivals, photos, books, articles, photos, webpages, exhibitions and blogs of course! The images will be archived in the Habitatnews Flickr Album: Linnaeus 300 and the links will be listed in my del.icio.us "linnaeus300" tags.

Linnaeus 2007 - The Linnaeus celebration by the National Linnaeus Secretariat established at the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences is today's link. In "Reasons for Celebrating Carl Linnaeus", they write:

"Carl Linnaeus was born nearly 300 years ago in a small village in Smäland, Räshult. Celebrations of the tercentenary are currently being prepared throughout Sweden and in many places abroad. The Linnaeus Tercentenary will offer many exciting events - from scientific conferences to lectures for the general public, exhibitions, Linnaeus rambles in the countryside, and guided tours of the Linnaeus Sites in Smäland and Uppland.

The Linnaeus Tercentenary has two clear goals. The first goal is to increase interest for science among children and young people; the second goal is to present a full-faceted image of Carl Linnaeus for the general public. The tercentenary is centred on the concepts of Creativity - Curiosity - Science. These principles form the basis for all events and they have set their stamp on the preparations.

Celebrate this unique occasion with us!"

Posted at 7:24PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Tue 24 Apr 2007

Young un's teaching the even younger!

Category : education

18 Apr 2007 - Raffles Museum's first batch of Junior Gallery Guides began conducting guided tours at the Public Gallery this afternoon. These P4 and P5 student volunteers from Qifa Primary School were given four hours of training during the March holidays. Twenty guides were paired up and assigned a station each. Each pair had to work on a guiding script for their station and were given tips on crowd management, conduct in the gallery and guiding.

This afternoon, they put their preparations to the test by guiding a class of P3 students from their own school. Participants were divided into small groups of 5 and roved from station to station, listening to the stories that the guides were relating.

The guides were enthusiastic and had even prepared small tokens to be given away during the quiz time! As the enthusiastic voices of the guides filled the air, museum staff who passed kept telling others, "you gotta see this!" Indeed they are speaking like pros.

Each pair of guides told their story six to eight times on 18th April, and will look forward to sharing their stories even more when four more classes of P3s visit the museum over the next few weeks!

More photos here...

Posted at 2:13PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,