[Taxacom] Fw: Re: article on taxonomy

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Fri Feb 26 21:46:52 CST 2010

Hi Stephen.

The key words were 'ethical stance'. I wasn't proposing a reform of how taxonomy is funded. IMO an ethical stance is needed because as Dr Boero and so many others have pointed out, taxonomy is seen a sinking ship, and some of the remaining taxonomists spend far too much time scrambling for lifeboats. It isn't a sinking ship. The discovery and documentation of living forms continues just as successfully as ever and the job is nowhere near finished. There are plenty of opportunities to help other biologists to solve diversity-related problems and to find vanishing species before they disappear under the human population tsunami. If you want a well-paid career, don't do taxonomy. If you want to do technically brilliant, cutting-edge research with databases and algorithms where the raw materials are already known pieces of information, you don't need to be a taxonomist. If you want to discover and document living things, if you want to salvage vanishing biological treasures and if your primary motivations are to do just those things - you're ethically a taxonomist.
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

More information about the Taxacom mailing list