Linne or Linnaeus?

Robin Leech releech at TELUSPLANET.NET
Thu Feb 12 09:03:06 CST 2004


Some of you need a good tongue lashing!
The arguing, national-language chest-thumping and pontificating is petty.
Why are we having this exercise in futility? Are some of us venting personal
frustrations, or are some of us pushing nationalistic dreams?

Our objectives as scientists are to communicate with one another, which at
moment we seem to have trouble doing, and to interpret and disperse the
and scientific information we find to one and all.  We do it the best we can
whatever language we speak.  If what we produce is "good stuff" - don't
worry, it
will be translated into other languages "post-haste".  If it is not, it may
or may not be
cited in other works, especially bibliographies, as a reference, but left

As an associate editor for The Canadian Entomologist, I often receive
written by people whose native tongue is neither French nor English -
German, Spanish, Korean, Japanese are frequent.  Check out our journal to
where the authors live.

Sometimes I find that the authors write English at my level, or even higher.
In other
words, their English is damn good!  It is rather humbling to realize that
someone whose
native tongue is German, for example, writes English better than 95% of
those who
speak and write English daily.

Sometimes the works of non-English-speaking scientists - to be acceptable
publishing - need a lot of work before The Canadian Entomologist accepts
But, I comment that their English is better than my Russian, German,
Korean or Japanese.

Is there no humility amongst us?  Some of us need lessons in social manners,
lessons in international civility.  The fact that some of us are socially
inept is
becoming very apparent.  Is the reason we became scientists - so that we
hide and remain social recluses?  Some of the students who were grad
with me many years ago certainly fitted this mold.  Obviously some outgrew
problem, and some did not.

Robin Leech

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