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

        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
krishtalka at

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