gjw at RMIT.EDU.AU
Wed Mar 5 09:56:34 CST 1997
On Mon, 3 Mar 1997 FJ Peabody wrote
Being a plant taxonomy bibliophile I can agree with the sentiments
expressed here. All botanical research needs to be considered, as long as
it fulfills the minimum rules. We have to decide what the minimum rules
are and make sure that we do not permit access to botanical nomenclature
to be relegated to some elite group. Obviously, this will cause some
inconvenience and even imprecision at times, but the benefits far outweigh
any of these. Searching out the obscure reference, and once finding it,
treasuring it for its contribution to new knowledge is one of the joys of
The main problem with accepting theses as publications was well put by Doug
Yanega, and I hope do not need reiteration.
Joe E.L. puts a nice argument, but we should not be seduced by his emotive
arguments. The choice of names is designed to elicit predictable responses.
There is another Pamela Anderson better known for artificial endowments
than intelligence, and the name applied to an 8 year old continues the myth
(?) of intellectual immaturity associated with some physical attributes.
The botanical community has already in place an attempt to confine access
to nomenclatural activity by insisting on Latin descriptions. Insisting on
refereed journals without prescribing the language is probably less
restrictive. Referees can be rather obdurate at times, but most editors are
more reluctant to block publication of new names than they are to reject
more trifling matters of ecology or physiology or ...
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