No subject

Lammers lammers at FMNH785.FMNH.ORG
Mon Jan 29 06:04:34 CST 1996

A personal response.  I agree about patience and understanding, but I find
myself wondering if the quoted person has perhaps felt at some point that
he or she was looked down upon by "scientists" for taking the

----- Mail saved at Mon Jan 29 06:03:17 1996
To:, taxacom
Subject: Know the Code

Jacqueline Soule's point regarding patience and consideration are well
taken.  I find myself wondering, though, if the person whom she quoted
perhaps seemed bitter because he or she had not received such treatment.
Face it: people who take the time necessary to master the Code are often
treated as though they were less of a scientist.  Recent posts here
often convey the impression, implicitly or explicitly, that arguing
about Code matters is a waste of time or worse.  Something not befitting
a true biologist.  The unstated implication is that puttering around
with the Code is fine for those odd ducks who can't handle "real" science.

And yet is there anything more fundamental, more basic to taxonomy, than
calling a plant by its right name.  "The naming of things by their right
names is the beginning of wisdom."  If there is *one* thing that the
world at large should be able to expect taxonomists to do reliably and
consistently, its to get the names right.  The Code is one of our basic
tools.  A taxonomist who cannot use the Code is like a carpenter that
can't use a hammer.

I return to my original point: what we need are task-oriented guides to the
Code.  But, friends, beware!  Should you actually take the time to publish
such a thing, your colleagues down in the lab may begin to wonder about
your ability to do science!

Thomas G. Lammers
Department of Botany
Field Museum of Natural History              lammers at
Chicago IL 60605-2496

More information about the Taxacom mailing list