Joseph Banks, British naturalist

Joseph Banks, British naturalist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), British naturalist. Educated at Harrow, Eton and Oxford, Banks was wealthy enough to indulge his interest in science. In 1768 he joined Cook's expedition to the South Pacific. Returning three years later, he found that he was a celebrity. He brought back 1,300 new plant species, and the idea that Botany Bay in Australia would be an ideal penal colony. Banks was elected president of the Royal Society in 1778, holding the post for 48 years. His other successes included the introduction of tea plants to India, and breadfruit to the Caribbean. He was also instrumental in establishing Kew Gardens. Illustration taken from The Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography (1857-1863).

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