Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Wed Jul 24 13:06:17 CDT 2002

At least in systematics and allied disciplines, I suspect it is correlated
with the strong historical emphasis on a subjective interpretation of data,
and with the highly unpredictable nature of living systems (e.g., how many
Laws are there in biology compared to the physical sciences?).  These
create an environment in which individualists may feel right at home, as
you often have have to shoot from the hip and follow your instincts and
intuition, rather than have ironclad protocols to be followed.

At 11:51 AM 7/24/02 -0600, you wrote:
>I do not know what it is in biologists that makes us such mavericks.  A
>few weeks ago, at a Board of Directors meeting of the Alberta Society of
>Professional Biologists, I commented on an observation I had made:
>If there is an engineering problem, and there are 10 engineers, somehow,
>they come together to solve the problem the best way.  On the other hand,
>if there is a biological problem, and there are 10 biologists, there will
>be 10 solutions, and no one is willing to give to another.
>I commented further that I did not know if it was the training of
>engineers that made them be able to work together, or whether people who
>can work together go into engineering.  Conversely, I do not know if it is
>the training for independent work that makes maverick biologists, or
>whether mavericks go into biology.
>The comment from the Treasurer of the ASPB said that a friend of his had
>said, "Getting biologists to work together is like trying to herd cats!"

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and biogeography
of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous

More information about the Taxacom mailing list