taxonomy

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 29 13:20:18 CST 1999


    I won't write too much since I already had my say on January 18th.
But it seems to me that the problems in taxonomy are a partial
reflection of the problems in the world at large---there is a whole
continuum from those who have too much (and don't always spend very
wisely) to those who have virtually nothing, and everything in between.
But as I said before, I hate to see taxonomy polarized in more and more
ways (richer vs. poorer, big universities vs. small, organismal vs.
molecular, cladist vs. eclecticist, and so on).
     Although it really bothered me that someone like Carl Woese has
been really "raking in" the grant money, while many of his critics can't
even get editorial letters published to challenge him, I finally decided
that the only way to counter that kind of inordinate power is the
internet forum (like this one).
     Therefore I would agree with Hugh that this is something we need to
discuss (on a regular basis if necessary), but on the other hand I
understand Leonard's displeasure with hand-wringing without putting
forth solutions.  For those who want another forum in which to discuss
these issues, go to the URL address given below and select the November
forum in the menu.  But please try to provide solutions, and not just
point fingers, and the "haves" should listen carefully to what the
"have-nots" are saying, or polarization in taxonomy will get worse
rather than better.  We are a community, but one with problems like
those of communities everywhere in an overcrowded world.  We need to
keep talking, but in a non-polarizing fashion that generates solutions
rather than bad feelings.       -----Ken Kinman
  FORUM:  www.sigmaxi.org/amsci/editors/forum.html
   By the way, anyone who wants me to send them my contribution to that
forum---just ask and I send it by e-mail as soon as possible.---KEK

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