Who is Alexander von Humboldt? - George Mehler
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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Prussian naturalist and explorer Alexander Von Humboldt. He was possibly the greatest and certainly one of the most famous scientists of the 19th century. Darwin described him as 'the greatest scientific traveller who ever lived'. Goethe declared that one learned more from an hour in his company than eight days of studying books and even Napoleon was reputed to be envious of his celebrity.
Aime Bonpland studied botany and medicine. He was introduced to Humboldt and went to America with him to collect and dry more than 6,000 new plants. He visited Venezuela, Cuba, New Granada, Peru, and Mexico. Napoleon gave him a pension and the Empress Josephine accepted rare American seeds for her garden at Malmaison from him. The post of '"Inten. dant " of her garden being vacant, Bonpland was appointed and remained until 1804-15.
Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military and political leader. Bolívar played a key role in Latin America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire, and is today considered one of the most influential politicians in the history of the Americas.