William T. Stearn

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Professor William Thomas Stearn (16 April 1911 – 8 May 2001) was a British botanist and horticulturalist known for being self-educated and for his prolific publication history, nearly 500 in all. He was employed at the Lindley Library of the Royal Horticultural Society, and later at the Natural History Museum.


  • The progress of botany, as of other sciences, comes from the interaction of so many factors that undue emphasis on any one can give a very distorted impression of the whole, but certainly among the most important of these for any given period are the prevailing ideas and intellectual attitudes, the assumptions and stimuli of the time, for often upon them depends the extent to which a particular study attracts an unbroken succession of men of industry and originality intent on building a system of knowledge and communicating it successfully to others of like mind.
    • Botanical Gardens and Botanical Literature in the Eighteenth Century, 1961

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