Maria Sibylla Merian Honored With Google Doodle

Maria Sibylla Merian, an entomologist and scientific historian who painted the plants and insects that she studied, is being honored today with a new Google logo (aka Google doodle) on what would’ve been her 366th birthday.

maria-merian-logo

Merian’s Wikipedia page shines a light on her importance to science:

She published three collections of engravings of plants in 1675, 1677, and 1680. Afterward she studied insects, keeping her own live specimens, and made drawings showing insect metamorphosis, in which all life stages of the insect (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) were depicted in the same drawing.

In her time, it was very unusual that someone would be genuinely interested in insects, which had a bad reputation and were colloquially called “beasts of the devil.” As a consequence of their reputation, the metamorphosis of these animals was largely unknown. Merian described the life cycles of 186 insect species, amassing evidence that contradicted the contemporary notion that insects were “born of mud” by spontaneous generation.

Today’s Google logo is sure to cause less controversy than the Cesar Chavez logo on Easter Sunday.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Logos

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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