Response from NATURE

Eric Dunbar erdunbar at MAC.COM
Fri Jun 14 10:34:35 CDT 2002

>> if a retailer refused to supply customers with what they wanted, the retailer
>> would go out of business. One reason that taxonomy could be in a bad way
>> might therefore be a failure by taxonomists to understand matters of supply
>> and demand. Users require a service which they feel taxonomists are not
>> always particularly good at supplying.
> time travel, whatever) - but give us more money now and we'll get there
> eventually. But taxonomists aren't allowed to say 'sorry we haven't described
> all the species out there yet, resolved all the relationships. There are
> rather a lot of them you know - give us more money now, ... etc.'
> Yeah right.

I think it's more like: `If we can't use it, why should we pay you good
[scarce] money to generate more [unusable] taxonomies?' Obviously it's not
that bad (or is it?) but I think that's the gist of the supply and demand

Anyway, on to more practical questions (to bring these threads to their
logical conclusion):

Has the discussion incited anyone to contemplate a change in organisation
policy or personal publishing behaviour? Will any of you active in "The
Codes", on editorial boards, or as generators of new taxonomic information
be working on proposals to address the [perceived] shortcomings of Nature's

Sincerely, Eric.

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