- George Shaw
name = George Shaw
caption = George Shaw
December 10, 1751
July 22, 1813
nationality = English
George Shaw (
December 10, 1751- July 22, 1813) was an English botanistand zoologist.
Shaw was born at
Bierton, Buckinghamshireand was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, receiving his M.A. in 1772. He took up the profession of medical practitioner. In 1786 he became the assistant lecturer in botany at Oxford University. He was a co-founder of the Linnean Societyin 1788, and became a fellow of the Royal Societyin 1789.
In 1791 Shaw became assistant keeper of the natural history department at the
British Museum, succeeding Edward Whitaker Grayas keeper in 1806. He found that most of the items donated to the museum by Hans Sloanewere in very bad condition. Medical and anatomical material was sent to the museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, but many of the stuffed animals and birds had deteriorated and had to be burnt. The pay from the museum was so poor that Shaw had to spend much of his time writing, and thus neglected the upkeep of the collection. He was succeeded after his death by his assistant Charles Konig.
Shaw published one of the first English descriptions with scientific names of several of the common Australian animals in his "Zoology of New Holland" (1794). He was among the first scientists to examine a
platypusand published the first scientific description of it in "The Naturalist's Miscellany" in 1799.
His other publications included:
*"Museum Leverianum", containing select specimens from the museum of the late Sir
*"General Zoology, or Systematic Natural History" (16 vol.) (1809-1826) (volumes IX to XVI by
James Francis Stephens)
*"The Naturalist's Miscellany: Or, Coloured Figures Of Natural Objects; Drawn and Described Immediately From Nature" (1789-1813) with
Frederick Polydore Nodder(artist and engraver).
The standard botanical author abbreviation G.Shaw is applied to
*Mullens and Swann - "A Bibliography of British Ornithology" (1917)
*William T. Stearn - "The Natural History Museum at South Kensington" ISBN 0434736007
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