unionization and charges

Peter Rauch anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU
Thu Feb 19 15:58:25 CST 1998

With respect to _what_ (rather than _who_), isn't it much more important
these days that the validity (accuracy) of specimen _determinations_ be
reliable (which determinations are often _not_ done by the leading
experts in the taxa being handled), than is the problem of validating
the systematist's/taxonomist's publication of new species/combinations/
(which is usually subjected to an editorial peer review)?

As good as keys el al may be, they're often seriously deficient and in
the hands of less than the taxon's expert taxonomist, they can be
"dangerous" (e.g., if used as a basis for making environmental
management decisions, ecological study analyses. etc).

So, as you discuss the relative pros and cons of certification, try to
address each of these "services" independently --the description and
publication of new names/species/combinations (whether or not the names
are "sold"), and the determination of environmental/ecological study
material (often not peer reviewed, and not published as taxonomy in any

(Am I right? Are many/most determinations of specimens for
ecological/environmental studies (including those "studies" done to
satisfy ESA and other legal requirements) NOT done by the taxonomic
specialists expert in the taxa in question?)

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