[Taxacom] Sub-professionals

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Thu Jun 18 09:44:19 CDT 2009

The article by Boegh is disconcerting. Sure we are losing taxonomists
and sure untrained personnel are stepping in. On the other hand, Poison
Control centers have acceptable (to them) experts in the community on
call. Governments have acceptable (to them) experts in environmental
consulting firms. Why get Boeghed down in more red tape? Who will
certify people like Boegh? (Do we need a Suggestion Police to prevent
well-meaning people from committing similar suggestions in public?)

Yes, taxonomy needs to be treated seriously, and expertise cherished by
Society. Certification by a non-academic institution seems likely to
increase the numbers of bad taxonomists, particularly those without
college degrees. I know many excellent amateur plant identifiers. Will
all these be certifiable? To do more than identify plants? Exactly what
in addition to identifying plants?

My wife says, "Is this the start of a guild that you must belong to in
order to get a job? We need a combination of many synergistic
facilities, in personnel and information, a culture of systematics."

Richard H. Zander 
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
richard.zander at mobot.org
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Non-post deliveries to:
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Mesibov [mailto:mesibov at southcom.com.au] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 7:22 PM
To: Richard Zander
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; psboegh at snm.ku.dk
Subject: Sub-professionals

Please look at this article on certifying taxonomic workers:


Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
Home contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
(03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
Website: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/mesibov.html

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