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First Linnean Medal in 83 Years for a German Botanist

Highest Award of Linnean Society of London Goes to Prof. Dr. H. Walter Lack for His Life's Work

№ 185/2014 from May 26, 2014

Prof. Dr. H. Walter Lack, the head of the Department of Science Communication at the Botanic Garden and Botanic Museum in Berlin-Dahlem and a professor at Freie Universität Berlin, received the highest award of the Linnean Society of London in recognition of his lifelong scientific achievements. The Linnean Medal was awarded in London on May 23, 2014, the birthday of Carl von Linné. The award is of international significance. Since 1888 the Linnean Society of London has been presenting the Linnean Medal to a botanist and/or a zoologist for his or her life's work. Previously, this award was only given once to a scientist in Berlin, the botanist Adolf Engler in 1913. The last recipient in the field of botany in Germany was Karl Ritter von Goebel in 1931.

H. Walter Lack is an internationally renowned expert on the history of plant taxonomy, the botanical research conducted by Alexander von Humboldt, and botanical illustration. His numerous publications, published in several languages, have become standard works on the history of botany. He is the head of the library, the in-house publishing house, and exhibitions at the Botanic Garden and Botanic Museum in Berlin-Dahlem.

The Linnean Society of London was founded in 1788 and is the world’s oldest active biological society. It draws its members from around the world. The Society takes its name from the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, whose scientific work is still of fundamental importance for the study of biodiversity. The previous winners of the Linnean Medal include important biologists such as Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, Alphonse Pyrame de Candolle, Alfred Russel Wallace, Ernst Haeckel, George Charles Wallich, Eduard Strasburger, Adolf Engler, Willi Hennig, Josias Braun-Blanquet, William Thomas Stearn, Ernst Mayr, Arthur John Cronquist, Vernon Heywood, and David Mabberley.

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Further Information

Prof. Dr. H. Walter Lack, Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel. +49 30 838 50 136, Email:

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