unionization and charges

Robin Panza panzar at CLPGH.ORG
Thu Feb 19 18:21:33 CST 1998

I have two problems with Yanega's suggestions:

I'm not comfortable with an elitist organization, where some select few get to
decide who will be allowed to enter.  Setting rules/guidelines to allow in all
"respectable" taxonomists while keeping out the "riffraff" seems impossible to
me.  The alternative is to let the select few choose by their own unstated
standards, an option I consider untenable.  Museum types are too antisocial to
be entrusted to keep this fair--I can think of several people who would
probably be prevented from joining based on personality conflicts rather than
taxonomic respectability.  I would **far** rather see a committee that decides
validity (which still has serious problems) than one that decides membership.

Charging for IDs, like charging for data, have some disparities.  There are at
least 3 distinct audiences for such information.  For example, if one member
of the "union" sends something to another member to verify the ID (because
member A lacks adequate comparative material), does s/he pay?  If someone
calls asking about the odd bird in the back yard, does s/he pay?  We have to be
very careful that, in trying to protect ourselves from what we see as
"ripoffs" by the for-profit users, we still manage to fairly fulfill our

I'm not saying I oppose Doug's ideas, just that I'm not convinced they're
the most appropriate pro-action.

Robin K Panza                   panzar at clpgh.org
Section of Birds, Carnegie MNH
Pittsburgh  PA  15213  USA

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