Nomenclature and the Code

Lammers lammers at FMNH785.FMNH.ORG
Tue Jan 9 15:44:36 CST 1996

The recent long thread on botanical nomenclature and the Code have
demonstrated to me something I have suspected for a long time: there
are only a handful of practicing plant taxonomists in the community
who are truly competent in applying the Code to the results of taxonomic
research.  It seems that the ability to understand and apply the various
provisions of the Code is a dying art.  I had the benefit of a quarter-long
course in nomenclature and the Code in graduate school; I suspect few
students today have that benefit.  Though nomenclature may not be as
"glamorous" (or whatever) as some of our other taxonomic endeavors, it
can sure make you feel like a fool if you goof it up and propose an
illegitimate (or worse, an invalid) name.

Does the systematics community see this as a problem, that fewer and fewer
practicing taxonomists can actually pick the correct name for a taxon?

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

lammers at

"Sorry, I couldn't think of any sort of clever closing quote today."
                                                 -- T. G. Lammers

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