NATURE to save taxonomy!

Eric Dunbar erdunbar at MAC.COM
Thu Jun 6 14:45:38 CDT 2002

> Neverthless, despite a need for us to be responsive to outsiders,
> what we don't need is outsiders imposing their standards on us. WE
> should be the ones who set the rules, and they should be above
> reproach.

A slightly different thought:

"outsiders" are in some cases as much insiders as pure taxonomists. Does not
quite a bit of taxonomic work stem from "outsiders" who do not recognise
themselves as taxonomists, per se, and who wouldn't necessarily be
recognised as "professional" taxonomists.

[I always rebel against "us" and "them" descriptions]

Furthermore, taxonomists' work *has* to be accessible to outsiders to be of
worth (if Darwin had kept his seminal work to himself it still would've
contained great insight, but no one could've done anything with it), and, as
such it may be wise to tailor the rules of taxonomists to the biological
community (and society) at large, and not just that narrow subset interested
in taxonomy.

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