Robert Brown, Scottish botanist

Robert Brown, Scottish botanist

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Credit: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Robert Brown (1773-1858), Scottish botanist. Brown was the naturalist on the Flinders expedition to Australia, arriving in 1801 and spending 3.5 years there returning in 1805 with thousands of specimens. He spent years working on plant taxonomy, establishing the classification of two major divisions of plants, the gymnosperms and the angiosperms. He also observed an essential part of living cells, which he named the nucleus. He is most famous for his 1827 observation of erratic motion by pollen grains in water. This was named Brownian motion and was later explained as evidence for the existence of molecules.

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