New Regionalism

Richard Zander bryo at COMMTECH.NET
Mon Mar 16 09:32:37 CST 1998

The staff at collection-based institutions are being asked by some
Directors to limit their research to local or regional problems. I think
the Natural History Museum at San Diego is being operated this way (I
may be wrong). My own Director wants both regional research and
global/general research, so there is essentially no problem here. On the
other hand, Directors know that they can get more funding from local
governments, philathropists and businesses if they can demonstrate
specific projects of perceived value to such funders. I think
restricting research at regional museums and other of the smaller
collections-based institutions is ultimately a burden on us all, similar
to charging each other for loans.
  Science is basically cross-institutional, cross-time teamwork. No
local studies can be done without a global perspective. No local
scientists can study everything locally. There are not enough large
systematics-oriented institutions to do the exotic/global/general
research that small or medium regional institutions are now beginning to
  It's like telling an astronomer to study only OUR sky. Any comments?

Richard H. Zander    Curator of Botany, Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Pkwy, Buffalo, NY 14211 USA    bryo at

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