Today is the 291th anniversary of the birth of Carolus Linnaeus, the Swedish botanical taxonomist who was the first person to formulate and adhere to a uniform system for defining and naming the world's plants and animals. Linnaeus came up with the binomial system of nomenclature, in which each species is identified by a generic name (genus) and a specific name (species). His 1753 publication, Species Plantarum, which described the new classification system, marked the initial use of the nomenclature for all flowering plants and ferns. In 1758, he applied this system of nomenclature to animals. Linnaeus's system of nomenclature is still in use today.
[Source: Roy Porter, Ed., The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists (Oxford University Press, ed. 2, 1994).]