The peril of naming things

Naming things, an ancient human activity that enables us to make sense of our surroundings, carries a risk of distorting our perceptions of them. The success of the Linnaean system influenced attempts to label other phenomena, both natural and man-made. Some effects of this are illustrated through the speaker’s interests in nosology and architectural history.

Dr Ratcliff OAM is a senior consultant psychiatrist and a recognized authority on the social and stylistic history of architecture in Tasmania during the extended nineteenth century. He first delivered this lecture at Government House in 2022 after being presented with the Royal Society Medal by Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC, Governor of Tasmania.

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