fees for determinations

Mon Dec 2 12:36:05 CST 1996

As a "user" of taxonomic expertise I've closely followed the debate on the
charging of fees.  I agree with all of Thomas Lammers's comments, though I
think that perhaps he should broaden his concept of the barter system - to
quote from his recent posting:

">.....don't think any of us would expect to charge fees for
>identifications performed for our brother and sister taxonomists.  Diana
>Horton knows mosses, I know lobelioids.  She ID's my mosses, I ID her
>lobelioids.  Maybe not simultaneously, but eventually.  A nice mutualism, a
>barter system.  Whatever goes around, comes around.  Good karma.  It's
>worked well for years.  The questions arise when we get into a "them and us"
>situation, e.g., when an ecologist or physiologist or (gasp!) molecular
>biologists approaches us for identifications.  We have something to offer
>such folks that they need (our taxonomic expertise) but perhaps they do not
>have some to offer us which we feel we need (gee, thank you for working out
>the details of the Calvin cycle in that species for me).  Well, when the
>barter system breaks down, that's where money enters the picture."

Are you saying, Thomas, that taxonomists NEVER need to use ecological,
physiological or molecular data?  Surely a similar situation exists to that of
your symbiosis with Diana Horton - you might not need the information now, but
who knows in the future?

Jeff Ollerton
(an ecologist)
particular, if the "them" is someone who is making money off the work,
getting our share of the money we helped make possible does nopt seem at all

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