Les amateurs en taxonomie

Tony Irwin tony.irwin at BTINTERNET.COM
Wed Feb 5 10:10:13 CST 2003


My comments on the plight of taxonomy in British museums seem to have
sparked an "amateur versus professional" debate. This was never my
intention -  professional status is no guide as to the quality of taxonomy,
and there are good and bad in *both* camps. I was making the point that
alpha taxonomy is not well funded at present and there are fewer and fewer
curators who could call themselves professional taxonomists, so that if
taxonomy (other than that based on DNA sequencing) is to be continued, it is
likely to be done by amateurs.
I do see the shift of funding from "morphological" to "molecular" taxonomy
as regrettable. Call me old-fashioned, but I'd rather be dressed in my
shabby old clothes than what the emperor's wearing these days!   :o)

Tony Irwin




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