taxonomy

Leonard Krishtalka krishtalka at UKANS.EDU
Fri Jan 29 16:46:46 CST 1999


At 01:42 PM 29-01-99 -0500, Hugh Wilson wrote:
>I think spordic whining, hand-wringing, and 'self-pity' is based on a
>clear, everyday reality for many.  Organismal biologists - especially
>those not doing 'buzz-word' work - are becoming extinct and
>systematic collections are being shunted to the backwaters of many
>campuses.

        On the positive side, I just served on an NSF panel that recommended
awards totalling millions of dollars to university museum and free-standing
museum collections for physical and informatics improvements.  University
museums/herbaria at KU, U Oklahoma, U Florida, U New Mexico, Harvard are
thriving and growing, both in physical buildings, personnel and collections.
NSF is discussing (see September 25 issue of Science, Jeff Mervis article)
a multimillion dollar new program (with new money) called Biodiversity
Observatories that will provide enormous opportunity and resources for
taxonomists, systematists, collections infrastructure, etc.

>It think its difficult to "demonstrate that we are a community" when,
>in fact, we (systematic biolgists) are not.

        Yes, exactly my point.  Rather than wring hands, let's expend the energy
in coming together as a community -- as other scientific disciplines have
to the benefit of their science and the funding of their science.
__________________________________________________________
Leonard Krishtalka
Director                                        Professor
Natural History Museum          Department of Ecology and
  and Biodiversity Research Center      Evolutionary Biology
University of Kansas                    University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045
785/864-4540 phone
785/864-5335 fax
kris at falcon.cc.ukans.edu
krishtalka at ukans.edu




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