Dale Parker aa514 at SFN.SASKATOON.SK.CA
Mon Oct 28 07:50:27 CST 1996

If I may respond politely to the message below re. the Alberta Society
Professional Biologists.  I don't think it is working based on some of
the situations I have heard about and my experience working with some
members of  this group.  Maybe I have just had to deal with the wrong
people of the society but it seems if they are members they seem to do
anything and everything. Biologists can do anything. A little library work
can make you an expert on anything in the eyes of many people.  My humble
opinion is that fish people should do fish work, sampling,identifications,
measurements, and reports. Bug people should do bug sampling,
identifications etc.

I am not trying to condemn the ASPB.  The ojectives of the society is an
honest one and admirable one.  There are some great members.  But as
others have stated in all societies due to politics and other things there
are many ideas of what is an expert whether it is
taxonomy or some other field.

Whatever happened to peer review? Does not the review panel of
assessments etc have qualified people to catch a situation where the
person for example is doing plant id's does not have the qualifications to
do a proper job.  In my  consulting work every project I do I have to
provide a list of qualifications of myself and all my subcontractors
and taxonomic specialists who have proven expertise in the various
groups such as Plecoptera, Ephemeroptera Chironomidae etc., along
with the quality checks, taxonomic notes and voucher specimens.

Maybe it isn't the taxonomic community doing anything wrong it is the
review system.

Just my 2 cents worth from the depths of my crypt.
Happy Halloween

Precept of the Greek botanist Isodorus:
"If you do not know the names, the knowledge
of things is wasted."

Dale Parker, Ph.D.

e-mail aa514 at
       parkerd at

On Sun, 27 Oct 1996, Robin Leech wrote:

> In Albera, we have the "Alberta Society of Professional Biologists".
> This is a registered society, along with the engineers, geologists,
> geophysicists, lawyers, foresters and aggies.  Part of our code (I am a
> member of the ASPB!) of ethics states just exactly the concern below -
> about doing things outside our areas of expertise.  As far as I know, we do
> not go outside our areas of expertise very often.  One biologist was drummed
> out of the ASPB a few years ago for going outside his area of expertise.
> I will do your spiders for you, but not your carabid beetles.  However, I
> know several who can do the carabids, and the first thing I would do is
> direct you one of them.  I think that the carabidologists would do the
> same for me.
> Robin Leech

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