Banks, Sir Joseph, 1743–1820, British naturalist and patron of the sciences. He accompanied Capt. James Cook on his voyage around the world and made large collections of biological specimens, most of which were previously unclassified. Botany Bay was named on this voyage. In 1772, Banks went on an expedition to Iceland. From c.1762 until his death, he was the chief influence in inaugurating and directing the policies that made Kew Gardens an important botanical center for encouraging exploration and experimentation. In 1766 he was elected to the Royal Society, and he served as its president from 1778 until his death. The plant genus Banksia was named for him.
See studies by H. C. Cameron (1952, repr. 1966), A. M. Lysaght (1971), and A. Wulf (2009).
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