18th Century mentality in the 21st Century

Thu Nov 15 09:24:29 CST 2001

There are 2 different functions of publication.  One is to quickly
disseminate timely information to as many interested parties as possible.
The web is wonderful for making known new discoveries, and I think even the
most conservative of us can appreciate that.

However, publication of names and descriptions has another purpose--to be a
reference for future inquiry.  Ink-on-paper (or CD production) is far
superior for that function.  The web is too fluid; sites wink in and out of
existence, URLs change, and sites are too easily altered.

This is not a matter of antiquated thinking.  A good scientist should use
the proper tool for a given purpose.  For dissemination of news, use the
web.  For permanence of record, use print.

Robin K Panza                         panzar at carnegiemuseums.org
Collection Manager, Section of Birds          ph:  412-622-3255
Carnegie Museum of Natural History       fax: 412-622-8837
4400 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh  PA  15213-4008  USA

-----Original Message-----
From: christian thompson [mailto:cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV]
If systematics is going to survive, get the increased funding it views as
necessary to fulfill its challenges, etc., then we must embrace the newer
technologies that the rest of Science has found useful and productive.
Digital communications is one of those. We can make the new ICZN work in
such a World, but, in computer-speak, it will be a "hack/kludge" and once
that happens then it may be time for a new edition or we may discover that
the ICZN is no longer necessary.

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