William T. Stearn

William T. Stearn (16 April 1911 – 9 May 2001) was a British botanist. Born in Cambridge in 1911, he was largely self-educated. He was librarian at the Royal Horticultural Society in London from 1933 to 1952 and then moved to the Natural History Museum as a scientific officer in the botany department until 1976. After retirement, he became President of the Linnean Society and taught botany at Cambridge University. He is known for his work in botanical taxonomy, botanical history, and botanical illustration and for his studies of the Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus. He is the author of Botanical Latin, as well as the Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners, a popular guide to the Latin names of plants. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1957. Considered one of the most eminent British botanists of his time, he is the botanical authority for over 400 plants that he named and described. An essay prize in his name from the Society for the History of Natural History is awarded each year.

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