The Linnean Society of London is the world's premier society for the study and dissemination of taxonomy and natural history. It publishes a zoological journal, as well as botanical and biological journals. It also issues The Linnean, a review of the history of the society and of taxonomy in general.
The Linnean Society, founded in 1788, took its name from the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus. The Society is based at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. Individual membership categories are: Student member, Associate member and full Fellow. All forms of membership require nomination by at least two Fellows and are subject to election. Fellows use the designation FLS after their names.
The Linnean Society of London aims to promote the study of all aspects of the biological sciences, with particular emphasis on evolution, taxonomy, biodiversity, and sustainability. Through awarding medals and grants, the Society acknowledges and encourages excellence in all of these fields.
The following medals and prizes are awarded by the Linnean Society:
Linnean Medal, established 1888, awarded annually to alternately a botanist or a zoologist or (as has been common since 1958) to one of each in the same year.
H. H. Bloomer Award, established 1963 from a legacy by the amateur naturalist Harry Howard Bloomer, awarded "an amateur naturalist who has made an important contribution to biological knowledge"
Bicentenary Medal, established 1978, on the 200th anniversary of the death of Linnaeus, "in recognition of work done by a person under the age of 40 years".
Linnaeus' botanical and zoological collections were purchased in 1783 by Sir James Edward Smith, the first President of the society, and are now held in London by the society. The collections include 14,000 plants, 158 fish, 1,564 shells, 3,198 insects, 1,600 books and 3,000 letters and documents. They may be viewed by appointment.
Smith's own plant collection is also held by the Society. It has been databased by the Smith Herbarium Project at the National Museums Liverpool. 6,000 specimens have been cleaned and repaired.