Response from NATURE

Barry Roth barry_roth at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jun 14 15:32:20 CDT 2002

 This is correct.  I have been performing taxonomic services for a spectrum of clients for over 30 years and have seen the market evolve from "just give us the names" to a new concern for accountability and "how did you arrive at that identification?"  This is driven by the widespread recognition that identifications (and the biogeography and ecology) of organisms can have significant social and commercial impact (read:  dollars and euros).  But at the same time I think it is healthy for our discipline.
(However, if I may slip in a comment about Dr. Gee's arrogant, self-serving, and ill-informed message:  he betrays his own confusion when he treats "nomenclature" as if it were a synonym of "taxonomy"!)
Barry Roth
  Peter Rauch <peterr at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU> wrote: On Fri, 14 Jun 2002, Ron Gatrelle wrote:
H. Gee wrote
> "A: Nature is under no illusions about its status as a
> publisher of nomenclature per se. "
> It sure is under delusion as to their import and influence
> or they would not have done this. They are a self admitted
> non-player in the taxonomic world - that now wants to become
> a regulator. Perceived sphere of influence = illusion.

Again, the point is --Nature, and lots of other "people", are
CONSUMERS of the taxonomy/classification community's products
--always have been, but until recently the dollar-value of the
products have been modest (if one can say that about the value
of pest control, for example) compared to today's new and
extraordinarily promising (lucrative) use of taxonomy's and
classification's "names".

The sphere is not one of influence, but one of "market".
Taxonomy/Classification has a whole new market out there begging
it for "product". Don't resent that; be thankful! And, respond
to the market place. If you don't like Nature's approach, then
build a better mousetrap.

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