The study of taxonomy is often a slog. There are measurements to take, technical descriptions to write, and databases to parse—all tasks that require nothing short of meticulous, tireless precision. The naming of a new species, on the other hand, can be an exhilarating, even celebratory experience.
Scientists have been known to christen their discoveries after famous people, whether as an expression of their admiration or to draw public interest to their work.
It’s nice work if you can get it: Airports, schools, and libraries may come and go, but the taxonomic record is forever. In honor of the birth of American independence, here are 11 U.S. presidents who have been immortalized in “life’s filing system.”