A Billion Dollars

Peter Rauch anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU
Fri May 23 07:20:08 CDT 1997

> Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 14:19:37 -0600
> From: "Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D." <mivie at MONTANA.EDU>
[was]  Subject: Re: Doug Yanega's response
> ...  I see no evidence that if given a billion dollars tomorrow
> that had to be spent in the next 5 years, we as a community would be
> able be really effective about spending it to resolve the taxonomic
> bottleneck of biodiversity inventory and community ecology studies which
> are being badmouthed on this server.

If the systematics community were a forward-looking group, it would spend
every dime necessary to 1) train those needed systematists, and 2) train a
goodly number of them additionally in the art of advertising and
politics...  ;>)

A billion dollars? That _is_ a lot, I suppose --not enough, but a fine
start. How about $400,000,000?  Could that amount be spent wisely and
fully in five years?

Resolution of the bottleneck needs to start during this five years, and
clearly if knowing _who_ the organisms are is indispensible for much of
what ecologists and conservationists and economists must know in order to
do their jobs well, then I would not whisper to anyone that systematics
doesn't know how to spend one billion dollars well. That would be a global
disservice of first order magnitude.


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