[Taxacom] new nomina nuda (was Re: e-only taxonomic publicat

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Fri Feb 12 17:17:51 CST 2010

Hi Doug and Wolfgang,
I think your point needs rewording so as to reduce "loading" content! The reason that Makhan's names count and the mecoptera names in Science don't is perfectly fine: Makhan followed the rules of Zoological Nomenclature, but the Mecoptera publication violated them (which was the fault of the editors in this particular case, not the authors). All this shows is that "serious professional taxonomists and publishers" are sometimes sloppy when it comes to some things, like upholding the Code. So, it reflects badly on them, BUT THERE IS NO INJUSTICE HERE! You can't react to this by saying that we must take steps to ensure that however sloppy a "bona fide" taxonomist or publisher might be, their names must still win out over the likes of Makhan, etc., who are actually following the rules more rigidly! THAT would be an injustice!
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Doug Yanega [dyanega at ucr.edu]
Sent: Saturday, 13 February 2010 7:48 a.m.
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] new nomina nuda (was Re: e-only taxonomic publicat

Wolfgang Wuster wrote:

>Just my attempt at wry humour in a series of interwoven threads that
>have seen us agonising over the right of free speech of "Calodema" and
>similar, while glibly dismissing taxa published in the leading science
>journals of our day as unpublished, due to their failure to conform to a
>procedural rule that is increasingly out of step with the reality of the
>21st century.

I think it's important that folks FULLY appreciate the tragic
accuracy and import of Wolfgang's comment; it is indeed a sobering
thought that serious taxonomists doing serious research for the
advancement of science - and publishing in a premier journal - should
be told that their taxon names are worthless, while those who are
self-publishing inferior work solely for self-glorification have
their names immortalized, simply because they had access to a printer
and some paper. Objectivity, even when insisted upon for the best
intentions, *can* be counterproductive. Many have argued that it is
only by maintaining its pure objectivity that anyone respects the
Code, but situations like this show precisely the opposite; it
clearly makes people respect the Code *less*. I would like to think
that the positive aspects outweigh the negative ones, but it's not so
easy to dismiss, and I wish there were some easy way to query the
body of the taxonomic community for their feelings on these matters,
rather than just the handful of folks on these various mailing lists.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82


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