Karenina Kriszat

The conflict of the Carl von Linné bench at the Natural History Museum in Oslo

How are scientists of the past perceived and understood today in light of racism, identity and diversity? A wooden bench at the Natural History Museum in Oslo dedicated to botanist and naturalist Carl von Linné stirred massive media attention and an ensuing debate in 2020 following a demand by the local community and politicians to have the dedication removed. The proponents of the request argued that Linné was not only one of the world’s most well-known botanists and father of biological systematics, but also among the earliest known scientific racists through his work which systematized and classified humans by skin color.

What I Do

Karenina Kriszat works as a  head of communication in the Natural History Museum (University of Oslo).