[Taxacom] Fading role of traditional taxonomists

Michael Heads michael.heads at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 2 17:04:59 CDT 2009


Hi Jason and others,
 
recent papers showed that taxonomic work on both mammals (description of currently accepted species that are still accepted) and plants (types deposited in Kew and US Nat. Herbarium) peaked around 1910 with a dramatic decline since then. Why is this? One explanation might be that the taxonomic culture that developed from 1580 - 1910 was decimated in the First World War. Or was it due to the end of the European empires leading to the breakdown of close communication between the outlying territories (where the biodiversity is) and the main collections in the European capitals? 
 
Michael Heads
 
Wellington, New Zealand.

My papers on biogeography are at: http://tiny.cc/RiUE0

--- On Wed, 6/3/09, Jason Mate <jfmate at hotmail.com> wrote:


From: Jason Mate <jfmate at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Fading role of traditional taxonomists
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 8:30 AM



Nice article. I can say that Anthony (Cognato) is what most taxonomists would have hoped taxonomy to be now instead of what it is. If I had to pin the blame on any single thing I would say that the increasing lack of contact with the natural world would be it. You can´t be curious about organisms if you don´t experience them and I am afraid that with our increasing bubble-culture it will only get worse.

Best

Jason

> Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2009 12:56:05 -0400
> From: mblanco at flmnh.ufl.edu
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] Fading role of traditional taxonomists
> 
> I know this topic is familiar with most members of this forum, but here 
> is a link to a recent article about it in The Scientist, with some 
> interesting data on the performance of the PEET program:
> 
> http://www.the-scientist.com/2009/06/1/32/1/
> 
> 
> 
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