Sweden Kicks Off Linnaeus Celebrations

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STOCKHOLM -- There are places on the Moon named after him. His face appears on Swedish currency, and an era of scientific history bears his name. But Carl Linnaeus is best known for creating the system of classifying living organisms that became the international standard.

Sweden on Saturday began yearlong celebrations that will mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of its most famous scientist, launching festivities with music and fireworks in Linnaeus' hometown.

''He has meant an incredible amount to the world because by systematizing just about every plant and animal, he helped organize it,'' said Kajsa Eriksson, spokeswoman for the Linnaeus 2007 celebration.

Often called the father of taxonomy, Linnaeus laid the foundation for a new classification of plants and animals based on their reproductive systems. His famous book Systema Naturae, classified 4,400 species of animals and 7,700 species of plants.

He is also credited for distinguishing humans as Homo sapiens and as primates in the class of mammals.

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