Holy War? (fwd)

Paulo Andreas Buckup buckup at OMEGA.LNCC.BR
Wed Oct 25 19:04:10 CDT 1995

Forwarded message:
> > Jim Beach recently wrote:
> >
> > > Is it time for taxonomists to launch a holy-war to regain mastery of
> > > taxon, node and classification knowledge dissemination?  Will other
> > > communities find ways to live without authoritative names *and
> > > taxonomic authorities* for organisms if the taxonomic communities
> > > don't swarm all over this electronic challenge, now?
> I think the system would be a big hit with the general public, botanical
> gardens, plant sellers, and specialty plant hobbyists.  These people often
> Michael Chamberland
> Michigan State University
I wholeheartedly agree with Jim Beach about the need to make taxonomic
data available through computers.  However, if the holy-war will be
lost, it will not be for want of taxonomists interested in building taxonomic
databases, but for lack of funding support for those taxonomists.  On an
international scale I see a lot of money going (and being wasted) to
self-serving consultants in environmental organisations and so-called
non-govermental organisations, while taxonomists (the *taxonomic
authorities*) willing to die in front lines of the holy-war are kept in the
trenches for lack of equipment, decent Internet access and support for data
capture efforts.  Perhaps a good strategy to wage the war is to educate
those in control of funding agencies about the need to invest in
taxonomists more than in third-party data-brokers.

Paulo A. Buckup
Dept. de Vertebrados
Museu Nacional
Quinta da Boa Vista
20940-040 Rio de Janeiro, RJ
e-mail: buckup at omega.lncc.br

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