[Taxacom] Sub-professionals

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Mon Jun 22 09:29:56 CDT 2009

More on certification of identifiers:

This seems yet another problem involving management versus labor.
Certification is a good idea. Implementing it can be problematic,
particularly when money is involved, and isn't it always?

Who will certify the certifiers of the identifiers? Who will pay the
identifiers or certifiers? Will there be a national certification board
to monitor the results of a national cadre of identifiers? Is this to be
a government or NGO project, and will taxes be involved? 

What if there is a major mistake by an identifier resulting in death or
loss of money - will the certification involve bonding and how much
insurance might be necessary for an identifier to take out? Should
identifiers incorporate to help shield them from being sued?

Identifications, if they are at all important (e.g. public health,
invasive species needing expensive extirpation, poison control), should
be based on voucher specimens deposited at public-accessible
collections. Who will fund the collections or collections institutions?
Pay per deposit? Who will pay the curators of the collections on which
certified identifiers base their decisions? 

I think what might help promote support for the idea is that the
proposers of certification provide us with at least one complete
scenario, with sources of personnel and financial support clearly given,
such that we see one version of a complete certification, instance of
identification, deposition of voucher, and result of the identification.

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: Phillip Sc. Boegh [mailto:psboegh at snm.ku.dk] 
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 11:33 AM
To: Richard Zander; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: Sub-professionals
I admit there is a risk that when some get certifications, all 
officially workers doing taxonomy may be expected to get one.
Eg. the risk is that all restaurants will demand certificates of the 
deliver' of fungus and other food. It is the fact many places - and 
honestly, most of us feel safe, when it is so. It is not to the benefit 
when untrained personnel are stepping in with errors:

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