[Taxacom] Economist leader addressed to taxonomists
dpatterson at mbl.edu
Fri May 18 07:43:37 CDT 2007
I agree with Rod as to the tone of a response - and I do
believe one should be written. Would Rod be willing to
write a first draft?
I would add two points.
The EOL is a major taxonomic initiative that has the
capacity to accelerate consensus, and therefore
consistency, stability, and discovery. This is the mature
response to the concerns of the 'what is a species' issue.
The response to EOL has been stunning, we have received
tens of thousands of positive enquiries, which gives us
another argument - that some of the comments in the
Economist grossly fail to represent prevailing opinions
and so are disengenuous.
The manipulative aspects of some of the points in the
Economist takes me back to Donat's mailing some time ago
of the pit bull - which I suspect has now become a real
On Fri, 18 May 2007 10:15:23 +0100
Roderic Page <r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk> wrote:
> So, once again taxonomist's heckles are raised, and the
> "they don't understand how important we are!", "we don't
> money!", etc.
> Is this the best way to respond, especially to this
> aside the issue of whether the article was justified or
> Why not think about responding in terms the audience
> appreciate? I wonder, for example, whether there are
> between biologists making bad decisions based on
> relationships between organisms, and business failing
> supposedly homogeneous target market of, say,
>"teenagers", turned out
> to be highly heterogeneous (niche marketing, anyone?).
> One could even draw parallels with recent foreign policy
> based an appalling lack of understanding that "muslims"
>are not a
> homogeneous category.
> Complaining about money is a bit of a hard sell, given
>that EoL has
> been launched to such fanfare. Yes, I know it's not
>money for people
> in the trenches, but to have major charities committing
> videos, and $US 100,000 promotion campaign (albeit "in
> don't you think Economist readers will wonder what
> complaining about...
> On 18 May 2007, at 09:35, Maarten Christenhusz wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> In reactoin to this article in the Economist, I think we
>> well to write a counter article from a variety of
>> (both plants and animals, macro and micro organisms) to
>> the Economist how important taxonomy is, what the
>> from systematics and conservation biology, that taxonomy
>> basis of all biological studies, and that we are heavily
>> underfunded, probably because the discipline is heavily
>> misunderstood by the wider public. I would be very
>> participate in this, but as a vascular plant scientist,
>> knowledge on primates and the microbial world is
>>limited. Shall we
>> write a counter article on taxonomy to the Economist?
>>Who's with me?
>> Maarten Christenhusz
>> Dept. of Biology, sect. Biodiversity
>> University of Turku
>> 20014 Turku
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Barry Roth <barry_roth at yahoo.com>
>> Date: Friday, May 18, 2007 7:34 am
>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Economist leader addressed to
>>> Thank you for the cheering example of a much better
>>> article -- including the revelation that Prof. Daniel
>>> phenetic ("magnitude of difference") judgments regarding
>>> of taxa he deals with.
>>> Barry Roth
>>> "Frederick W. Schueler" <bckcdb at istar.ca> wrote:
>>> * well, here's a less ignorant take from a mainstream
>>> Subject: Press: The Trouble With Taxonomy
>>> Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 10:27:11 -0400
>>> Get your own web address.
>>> Have a HUGE year through Yahoo! Small Business.
>>> Taxacom mailing list
>>> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>> Taxacom mailing list
>> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Professor Roderic D. M. Page
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David J Patterson
Encyclopedia of Life
Marine Biological Laboratory
Phone: 1 508 289 7260
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