Sunday, September 1, 2013

Norwegian Scientists

The four stamps on this cover were issued by Norway on 15.10.1970 to honour their scientists. The cover was given to me by my friend Pia.

Johan Ernst Gunnerus(1718 – 23 September 1773) was a Norwegian bishop and botanist. Gunnerus was born at Christiania. He was bishop of the Diocese of Nidaros from 1758 until his death and also a professor of theology at the University of Copenhagen.

Hans Strøm(25 January 1726 – 1 February 1797) was a prominent Norwegian zoologist and naturalist. He is best associated with his topographical description of Sunnmøre. Hans Strøm' was born in the traditional district of Sunnmøre, in Borgund in Møre og Romsdal County, Norway. His father was a clergyman and many other relatives of both his father and mother were ministers. He attended the Bergen Cathedral School. He was educated as a Lutheran clergyman and in 1745 took a theological degree at the University of Copenhagen. Then he worked from 1750 to 1764 as chaplain in Borgund. In 1764 he became parish priest, first in Volda where he served until 1779, when he went to Eike where he served as Vicar for 18 years.

Hans Strøm was the first Norwegian who gave species descriptions for Norwegian animals. The results of his research was published as Physisk og Oeconomisk Beskrivelse over Fogderiet Søndmør I-II (Copenhagen, 1762-1766), a work that established his reputation as a scientific authority. He followed up this work with a number of articles, particularly where the natural sciences were strongly represented. He co-founded the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters in 1760, with Gerhard Schoning, the historian, and Johan Ernst Gunnerus, bishop of Trondheim. In 1779, Strøm was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He was also elected as a member of a number of science academies in Norway, Denmark and Germany.

Michael Sars(30 August 1805 – 22 October 1869) was a Norwegian theologian and biologist. Michael Sars was one of the last great descriptive zoologists who catalogued organisms more or less equally successfully in all major animal groups. Sars also described fossils from various fossil beds in Norway and appears to have been keenly interested in all sorts of other issues. Sars was asked by the Parliament of Norway to investigate the biology of Norwegian fisheries, such as the herring and cod fisheries. He had started these investigations by the time of his death, but most of them were completed and published posthumously by his son, Georg Ossian Sars. He was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1855.

Georg Ossian Sars(April 20, 1837 – April 9, 1927) was a Norwegian marine and freshwater biologist. Georg Ossian Sars was born on April 20, 1837, in Kinn, Norway (now part of Flora), the son of Michael Sars and Maren Sars; the historian Ernst Sars was his elder brother, and the singer Eva Nansen was his younger sister. He grew up in Manger, Hordaland, where his father was the local priest. He studied from 1852 to 1854 at Bergen Cathedral School, from 1854 at Christiania Cathedral School, and joined the university at Christiana (now the University of Oslo) in 1857. He indulged his interest in natural history while studying medicine; having collected water fleas in local lakes with Wilhelm Lilljeborg's works, he discovered new species, and this resulted in his first scientific publication. Georg Ossian Sars had a good memory and excellent drawing skills, and illustrated some of his father's zoological works.
Sars was a founding investigator of ichthyoplankton. In 1864, he was commissioned by the Norwegian government to investigate fisheries around the Norwegian coast. One of his first discoveries was that the of cod are pelagic, that is, they inhabit the open water column. He continued to receive the patronage of the government throughout his career. Sars' primary research focus was on crustaceans and their systematics. He described many new species in his career, including in his magnum opus, An Account of the Crustacea of Norway. He was awarded the Linnean Medal in 1910.
Georg Ossian Sars never married, and died on April 9, 1927 in Oslo. He is remembered in the scientific names of a number of marine invertebrates, as well as the journal Sarsia, and the flagship of the Norwegian research fleet, the RV G.O.Sars. 

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