Friday, September 25, 2015

Linnaeus, Garbo and the 100 kroner banknote

Brains vs Beauty…

Albert: Why are they changing the face on the 100 kroner note from Linnaeus to Greta Garbo?

Marilyn: Give a modern face to Swedish culture. Bergman is on the new 200 kroner note.

Albert: But these were film people, entertainers. Not scientists.

Marilyn: They are more popular. Internationally better known. Not everyone knows Linnaeus.

Albert: I still think Linnaeus contributed more to the world than Garbo. He proposed a taxonomy still used 200 years later. She may have had screen presence but what was her legacy?
Both scientists and artists can assuredly have reputations that last as long as a generation or more, and both scientists and artists can have reputations as ephemeral as a paper banknote. But the legacy of thought or method perhaps should be the measure of the face choice on a bank note.

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