[Taxacom] Economist leader addressed to taxonomists

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu May 17 15:37:56 CDT 2007

I read this article with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I felt it was a
GROSS misrepresentation of the intentions of the VAST majority of practicing
taxonomists.  It would be naïve to assume that decisions about drawing
species lines were never influenced by corresponding implications towards
law and conservation policy; but the most extensive taxonomic "inflation" is
going to come from the opposite side of the spectrum from charismatic
megafauna (i.e., from the microbial world).

On the other hand, I think there were messages in there that we might not
want to simply reject and ignore outright. Specifically -- the issue of how
we are perceived by the outside community.  Other than this email list
(Taxacom) and a few other venues, we really don't have a broad sense of
cohesion in our field that is both perceived by the outside world as
prominent and well organized, and is widely inclusive of participation from
large numbers of taxonomists from different disciplines.  This is the sort
of thing I was alluding to as what I saw the single greatest value of the
EoL initiative to the taxonomists on the ground.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of colin favret
> Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2007 8:31 AM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] Economist leader addressed to taxonomists
> I thought this editorial on species inflation might be of 
> interest to some here. cheer, colin
> http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9191545
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> Colin Favret
> Aphidologist at large
> crf at uiuc.edu
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> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
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