Subject: Sale of Zoo Record

Steve.Shattuck at CSIRO.AU Steve.Shattuck at CSIRO.AU
Fri Oct 24 06:26:28 CDT 2003

The "all on the same ship" analogy (see below) is great, but I don't
think it accurately reflects the way most zoological taxonomists think
about what they do.  My impression is that very few would say there is a
single "captain" and even fewer would say they are on the same ship as
other taxonomists.  While it can be argued that the Code is our
"captain", we act as though we are all on our own little ships and we
really don't seem to care what happens to other ships, as long as ours
is secure.  We don't seem to realize that by building a single large
ship we all win in the long run even if we do lose in the short term.
We win because we speak with a single LOUD voice (= strength in numbers)
and the cost of doing our science is reduced (because of stronger
infrastructure and a more even sharing of the work load).  We lose in
the short term by having (potentially) fewer options in publishing (no
more privately published papers/books) and the added burden of entering
data in our captain's log book (our equivalent of GenBank).  

Optimistically, I think we are moving in the right direction, although
our progress is slow.  We seem very reluctant to give up our mirror
dinghies and board the Queen Mary.

Steve Shattuck
CSIRO Entomology
Steve.shattuck at

-----Original Message-----
From: Faunaplan at AOL.COM [mailto:Faunaplan at AOL.COM] 
Sent: Thursday, 23 October 2003 7:42 PM
Subject: Re: Subject: Sale of Zoo Record

Okay, let me illustrate my point by a simple (easy for me to translate)
story: Imagine you are the captain of a sinking ship. Your destination
is, anyway, very difficult to reach, let's say your order said: "go to
the land where you can help to rescue the world's biodiversity before
it's gone". During the first miles of your travel, you have been very
strict and concerned, so all crew members who did not understand your
work, those who seemed to be unwilling or were doing nonsense, they all
have been sent under deck. In addition, you're loosing an increasing
number of your most talented crew members because of food shortage,
haevy storms, etc. So what will you do when your ship is about to sink?
Would you still keep under deck all your crew members who, in your
opinion, seemed to be not helpful enough, or through them all over
board? Or would you say: come on guys, let's rescue our ship - if you
continue doing nonsense you will also sink. There will be very few who
would still say 'okay let the ship go down'. So what I want to say: why
not concentrate NOW on bringing together to whole community who must
have a vital interest in taxonomy: professional AND amateur taxonomists,
nature enthusiasts, nature conservation and ecology folks, politicians
who really want to do what they promise to do (seems there are a few who
are at least willing)..... And, by the way, even the gooogles etc.
should have a very vital (=economic) interest in a reasonably stable and
universally accepted taxonomic nomenclature! it sunday today?  -- oh, only thursday....sorry

Regards from Germany,
Wolfgang Lorenz
s it sunday today?  -- oh, only thursday....

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