Carl Emil Hansen Ostenfeld (1873-1931)

Professor of systematic botany 1923-31, MSc botany 1897, curator at the Botanical Museum in Copenhagen 1900-18, professor of systematic botany at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural College 1918-23.

C.H. Ostenfeld was among the central figures in Danish botany in the first decades of the twentieth century. Apart from his scientific work on the flora of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, he communicated science to wide audiences. He was thus one of the authors of the popular work Planteverdenen i Menneskets Tjeneste [Flora in the Service of Man] (Copenhagen: Gyldendal Nordisk Forlag, 1906) published in the book series Frem [Forward]. Ostenfeld wrote commemorative articles on Charles Darwin in February 1909 in the conservative press. He advocated a moderate position giving due credence to the scientific achievements made by Darwin, but emphasising that evolutionary theory should not be misused in struggles against Christianity and the established order.

Hans Henrik Hjermitslev

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