Project Geobiota proposed in 1980

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon May 3 18:42:52 CDT 1999

    The discussion on fungal names and insect lists has me a bit nostalgic.
PROJECT GEOBIOTA was proposed back in 1980 (by myself when I was working as
co-editor of the first edition of Mammal Species of the World).  How much of
the world's biota I could have computer catalogued in the last 19 years
would have depended on available funding, but unfortunately it was never
funded at all, and now we will have to play a more expensive game of
catch-up I guess.  Really a shame.
     In 1980, being naive and very enthusiastic, I even produced a book
manuscript to demonstrate the feasibility of PROJECT GEOBIOTA:  "Geobiota
Past and Present: A Classification of Life to Family Level".  Yes, I even
wanted to do the fossil species as well.  Not quite that energetic any more,
but I still hope to eventually expand my published 1994 book from ordinal
level down to family level, but with around 15,000 families even that will
be quite a task (and a huge number of cladograms).  My dreams of working on
a world catalogue of organisms (at genus and species level) slowly died back
in the 1980's, but I like to think I could have started something that would
have made our work today much easier.  But doesn't help to cry over spilt
milk, although I do occasionally wonder "what if".
                            ----Ken Kinman

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