Switzerland’s forgotten ‘Leonardo da Vinci’

For 16th century zoologists, it was like Google’s arrival. Rather than punch a keyboard, they could thumb over Conrad Gessner’s sensational work – the world’s first-ever encyclopaedia of all known animals on the planet. Gessner’s four-volume work in Latin, the ‘Historia animalium’ (History of the Animals), influenced zoologists for generations to come. Yet the Swiss scientist, who was born in Zurich and worked there as a city doctor and professor, remains little known in his homeland. So for the 500th anniversary of his birth in 1516, the city decided to help people rediscover him. Gessner grew up in a poor family but he was lucky to have his formidable talents recognised early. The great Zurich reformer Huldrych Zwingli was among those who encouraged him. “Conrad Gessner is one of the most important scientists in Switzerland; he is the father of zoology, and also of bibliography. He studied botany, physics, chemistry, so he was really a scientist of …
Source: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/conrad-gessner_switzerland-s-forgotten–leonardo-da-vinci-/42046278?ns_mchannel=rss&srg_evsource=rss

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