TAXACOM Digest - 25 Oct 1996 to 27 Oct 1996

JOSEPH E. LAFERRIERE josephl at AZTEC.ASU.EDU
Mon Oct 28 06:33:18 CST 1996


Someone was "drummed out" of the Alberta Taxonomists' Union for
going outside his field of expertise??!! That's appalling! People
change fields all the time, when they feel they have done all they
can in one field, or can be more productive in another. A PhD is
a license saying you have the ability and training to do research,
not a restrictive document saying you are allowed only to do one
kind of research. In many cases, there is no expert on a given taxon,
so it is up to others to do what needs to be done. In my case, I
have done intensive floristic work in Mexico, having made over
2000 collections of my own and examined many more specimens collected
by others. Several of the collections could not be placed in any
known species, so had to be written up. If  a specialist on the
group was available, I always consulted him/her, but if there was
not, I had to write the description myself. I know how important
it is to be careful about this, examining all the relevant literature
and comparing specimens. But to say I cannot describe a new species
of Rubus because my dissertation was not on Rubus is an idea to
which I have serious objections.

--
"There are two secrets to success. The first is not telling
everything you know."

Dr. Joseph E. Laferriere




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