Catalog vs curate, present/future scenarios+

Thu Sep 21 08:41:54 CDT 1995


Think that Julian expresses reality from his soapbox.  If we don't
adapt we will not survive.  New technologies and informatic options
open a new world for organismal biology.  Given easy manipulation of
images and complex data sets, systematics is pre-adapted to take full
advantage of these options.  Seems to me that if we are to make
effective use of this technology, we should initially focus on
presentation of biologically relevant data through systems that the
non-taxonomist can use.  User-driven support can then be used to
pursue work with types, loan transactions, and other items of local

Certainly difficult to project fate of large vs. small, well curated
vs. not well curated, public vs. private collections, but I think
that Julian paints a fairly clear picture of the types of selective
pressures involved.  If this is accurate, then the only relevant
element might be what you have on the Web and how often it is used.

I also agree that, within the WWW realm, the Australians are setting
the pace in a race that many North Americans have not entered.


Hugh D. Wilson
Texas A&M University - Biology
h-wilson at (409-845-3354)

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