[Taxacom] encylopedia of life

Shorthouse, David dps1 at ualberta.ca
Sun May 13 20:57:29 CDT 2007


What would make EoL indispensable for you? If you had your say in its
architecture, what would you want?

Sure, money in the coffers equals prestige for a short-sighted Dean. It'll
be interesting when the $10 PCR device nears production:
http://medgadget.com/archives/2007/05/10_dna_replicator.html. That ought to
be a great leveler. 

But what we really need here is to chip away at journal impact factors. That
ultimately is the well from which money springs. If the EoL workbench can
play a role in that somehow, then I will absolutely spend a couple of
weekends writing species pages or wake-up early a few days every week to
contribute content. Heck, I'll even make it a family affair instead of
spending $40 on a night at the movies. Wouldn't that activity be a step
closer to replenishing the stock of taxonomists?

David P. Shorthouse
Department of Biological Sciences
CW-403, Biological Sciences Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2E9
mailto:dps1 at ualberta.ca

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Zander
Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2007 2:51 PM
To: David Patterson; Donat Agosti; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] encylopedia of life

David Patterson:
You have taxonomists on the Team! That's wonderful. I am willing to bet,
however, that you don't have more than 100, much less one per family. Unless
you are not paying them, and the buy-in involves their "spare time" as
contributed by institution heads on the Team.
It's not exactly money alone that we taxonomists are grumpy about. Those who
have jobs already have money. It is how university deans see biodiversity
research versus, say, DNA research. One (doing EoL pages) is unfunded, the
other brings in lots of indirect costs. 
The EoL as presently conceived will encourage and accelerate the loss of
taxonomists at our universities. University deans would do well to hire WWW
Biodiversity Project Heads because those positions seem well funded. 
"EoL is not a funding agency." It should be.
R. Zander

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