Nomenclature and the Code

Robin Leech robinl at NAIT.AB.CA
Tue Jan 9 16:40:45 CST 1996

Sir Lammers,

You have to face a reality.  When taxonomists retire or leave a position,
the position is not being filled with another taxonomist, but a person of
another persuasion, usually molecular.

What can we do?  Probably nothing in a down-trending economy.  We can be
thankful that our "science" is not an expensive one, so most of us can
carry on at a lower level.

Robin Leech

On Tue, 9 Jan 1996, Lammers wrote:

> 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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