[Taxacom] encylopedia of life

Frederick W. Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Thu May 10 09:59:52 CDT 2007

Mary Barkworth wrote:

> In preparing the grass volumes for FNA, one contributor commented, with
> some bitterness, that we were prepared to pay illustrators a decent
> amount - but we were not paying contributors. The myth is that all
> contributors could develop their treatment as part of their job. This is
> ... certainly
> not true for the many excellent taxonomists who work as consultants or
> at have unrelated jobs that pay the bills and provide sufficient free
> time they can pursue their love of plants (or other organisms) in their
> free time. 

* the problem with systematics is that the benefit it confers is spread 
so widely that no particular group can fund it out of self-interest. 
Basic research used to be funded because it was basic, but this is 
increasingly not the case. Curiously, individuals and governments are 
willing to talk (at least) seriously about reducing their emissions of 
greenhouse gases, which has a similarly diffuse benefit, and we should 
keep this analogy in mind when discussing funding for sytematics.

            Bishops Mills Natural History Centre
Frederick W. Schueler, Aleta Karstad, Jennifer Helene Schueler
       RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
    on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
      (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca
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