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Linné on line arrow Linnaeus as a Physician arrow Roles as Physician and Teacher

Roles as Physician and Teacher

Linnaeus as a Teacher

On October 25, 1741, Linnaeus delivered his inaugural lecture, which dealt with the discoveries that could be made, and the benefits that could be reaped, from scientific journeys throughout Sweden. He now had an opportunity to inform his public of what he himself had been able to contribute in his travels. As mentioned, in 1742 it was decided that Rosén and Linnaeus should swap professorships. Linnaeus’ interests were more in the field of botany, and Rosén’s in anatomy and practical medicine. Lectures were held in the Gustavianum, but so-called private collegiums were also held, and these were in his home. This teaching was economically rewarding. Varying numbers of students (50–60) listened. What attracted the largest audiences were his lectures on diet. The total number of students at Uppsala in that day was 500–600.

The blossoming of natural science, including medicine, at Uppsala may have been the result of the elderly professors having been replaced, and the fact that much of what was being taught had news value. The popularity of the lectures on the art of medicine was also related to the circumstance that there were so few physicians, which entailed that medicinal plants were also used by nature healers. Also in terms of prevention, that is, using science to affect the health of the population by improving living conditions, food, beverages, clothing, and housing, Linnaeus’ instruction was of great benefit. His students took notes and spread this knowledge throughout the country.

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