What is in a name? Often a fair bit in fact! We use names as useful shortcuts to better explain things in the natural world, from new species to comets and new inventions. But what does it take to get one of those new things named after you? There are a few approaches you can take to get something named after you and put down in the history books alongside historically important figures. I am going to suggest a few routes you could take.
Find Something New
If you love math, comets, and you really want something named after you, you are in the right field. Put in a lot of work to find a previously undiscovered comet, or create a new mathematical proof, and you will soon have something named after you! You can choose to that whatever you discover named after yourself.
But unfortunately, this does not translate to every scientific field. When it comes to things like asteroids or new species, even if you were the first to discover it, you cannot name it after yourself. In those situations, you can still name it – you just have to name it after someone else! Your mum, your pet, or even your favourite musician. Which brings us to the next way to get something named after you became famous.
Fame has its advantages. One of which is that scientists love naming things after their favourite, (or sometimes least favourite, believe it or not) celebrities. That can be other scientists, but also popular figures like politicians such as Barack Obama, TV presenters like David Attenborough and a range of musicians.
Do not forget! If you are naming something that is alive, it is tradition to change the name into a two-part name that vaguely sounds Latin. This goes back to a Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus who invented this naming system.
There is a lot of stuff already out there in the world that already has been named. If you cannot find something new to slap your name onto, why not push the boundaries and make something totally unique yourself. Great inventions like the petri dish or the diesel engine were actually named after their inventors. Making something new is a fantastic way to have your name in the history books.
This does not always work though. Sometimes you might discover to create something, and someone else’s name gets stuck to it, either because they perfected it and it became popular as a result. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you would expect.
Pay for It
You could always just pay for it with cold hard cash. If you do not want to rely on luck or chip away at something for years in pursuit of your name being attached to something, there are a few ways you can name a species or even a robot-discovered math theorem after yourself. You just have to empty your wallet for it.
This approach might not inspire the curious and adventurous among us, but it is a method. If you can afford it, your financial contributions could accelerate development in the field you are donating too. So in a way, you are actually helping a lot. It is expensive to conduct world-changing science experiments!
Overall, there are plenty of ways to get your name in the history books. Regardless of which path you choose, you will end up having to put a lot of time and effort into it. Even if you go down the money route. Money does not just fall out of the sky for most people so you will have to work hard and do your best to immortalise your name.