Shame on you

John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Wed Feb 18 09:59:25 CST 2004

As a list member I would respond to Kevin with the view that a list is what 
is put into it. In all lists there will be material that is deemed 
irrelevant or uninteresting by at least some of its members. I've had the 
pleasure of being told a couple of times by a couple of members that my 
subject material was not suitable for the list. Others would, of course, 

As for the playground stuff - perhaps that's the actual reality of the 
science. At least if one reads David Hull's 1988 book its all about that as 
a driving factor in the social and political development of the science.

One can either chose to reconsider subscription, or one can chose to become 
an active element in the overall content by contributing. But (and its a 
big but) getting into public debate in science can have both advantages and 
disadvantages. If one publicly debates issues in a venue such as this one 
runs the risk of making a gaffe (which I have) with the potential public 
embarrassment that goes along with it. Also, one risks expressing ideas or 
views that not only disagree with some or many, but that their dislike for 
your position may run over into a dislike for the individual. I directly 
experienced that in the tiny pond that is NZ science. Expression of a view 
has consequences, and those consequences may be for a lifetime. In my case 
it actually worked out for the best - but not in New Zealand.

A cautionary tale.

John Grehan

At 12:34 AM 2/13/2004 +0000, Kevin Tilbrook wrote:
>Dear List Members
>I joined this list a short time ago (on the recommendation of a friend) to 
>be a part of the greater scientific community, and keep abreast of the 
>latest comings and goings in the world of taxonomy.
>This morning I open my mail and find the best part of 30 messages, all 
>with the same subject heading ­ I thought a string of messages about 
>Linneaus, our founding father ­ now this is what its all about!
>How wrong was I?
>What an embarrassing furore, pure playground stuff. Surely this is not the 
>place for such pettiness, or is it!!?
>I have to say I am reconsidering my subscription.
>Dr. Kevin J. Tilbrook,
>Earth and Oceanic Sciences Research Institute,
>Auckland University of Technology,
>24 St. Paul Street, Private Bag 92006,
>Auckland 1020, New Zealand.
>Tel: +64-9-307-9999 ext. 8148
>Fax: +64-9-917-9973
>BT Yahoo! Broadband - Free modem offer, sign up online today and save £80

Dr. John Grehan
Director of Science and Collections
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, New York 14211-1293
Voice 716-896-5200 x372
Fax 716-897-6723
jgrehan at

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