[Taxacom] bodiversity informatica

Jim Croft jim.croft at gmail.com
Tue Jan 29 16:43:50 CST 2008

It is a bit on an indictment of our profession that there is still a
lingering tendency to draw a distinction between taxonomy and
information management, especially the technical aspects of it, with
all the value judgements that may or may not implied.

Taxonomy *is* information management - we just happen to have at our
disposal today a few tools more advanced than quill pens and lead
type.  Its goal is not about specimens, it it not about taxa - it is
about access to reliable biodiversity information... and the more of
it the better.

Separating the product from the available (or yet to be invented)
technology impoverishes the discipline and entrenches the tendency
towards conservatism and the same old, same old.  To embark on
taxonomy without engaging the best information management technology
is a recipe for trailing irrelevance and oblivion.

New school!  Bring it on!


On Jan 30, 2008 12:54 AM, Richard Jensen <rjensen at saintmarys.edu> wrote:
> Mark Costello wrote:
> I'm surprised, and disheartened, that those working in biodiversity
> informatics would view these topics as "of little interest." The rules
> of nomenclature apply directly to the very organisms that biodiversity
> informatics incorporates as the bases for their work. Further, our
> knowledge of the status of, and relationships among, these organisms are
> greatly enhanced by molecular analyses of the sort often discussed on
> taxacom.
> What have I missed with respect to the fundamental goals of biodiversity
> informatics?
> Cheers,
> Dick J
> Richard Jensen, Professor
> Department of Biology
> Saint Mary's College
> Notre Dame, IN 46556
> Tel: 574-284-4674

Jim Croft
jim.croft at gmail.com

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