ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Joseph Banks (1743-1820), English naturalist and botanist. In his 20s, Banks was invited to join James Cook's three-year voyage to the South Pacific on HMB Endeavour. He returned with 1300 new plant species for his collections, which are now held in the British Museum, London. He was elected President of the Royal Society in 1778. Throughout his life he remained a generous patron of science, and promoted international collaboration between scientists. He was instrumental in the foundation of Kew Gardens in London, and a proponent of the British colonisation of Australia. He was knighted in 1795.
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