Eric Laso-Wasem. Burned at the stake?

Ingolf Askevold IASKEVOL at VM.CC.FAMU.EDU
Fri May 20 00:14:56 CDT 1994

   I'll restrict my comments to only a part of Eric's posting, that concerning
the retention of types in personal collections.  I doubt anyone has serious
grief when it comes to paratypes of taxa the authors describe, but many
"researchers" do retain as many damned types as they possibly can.  Recall my
earlier tale of the Bechyne character?  Well, he learned from the real pro,
one now thankfully deceased Georg Frey.  Frey's raison d'etre was the
acquisition of any and all types, so that he could get all those pretty red
labels in there, you see?  Alas, characters of that ilk exist yet.  Their
logic is that they are the ultimate specialists in the group, and for them to
continue to work [?] effectively at describing species [actually, at identify-
ing yet more species for their collection - gotta have the best darned
stamp collection around, that's what it is.   As long as stamp collectors
get to run around masquerading as scientists, we're going to be faced with
such characters.  What's the ICZN or journal editor going to do?  Run over
to that private collection and seize such material?
   In short, Eric opened a very fine can of worms, that contains many slippery
little threads of thought and argumentation, but he was also correct.
   Respectfully,  Ingolf Askevold

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