[Taxacom] [iczn-list] Code Amendment discussions

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Mon Nov 15 10:21:20 CST 2010

Code Amendment discussions.

There have been several discussion rounds (in BZN and the list 
servers, iczn-list and Taxacom) since the Commission published its 
proposal for the Amendment of the Code in 2008. 

Since a while ago all arguments have continuously been repeated, 
both those for and against allowing e-only publishing for 
nomenclature, and proposals to solve the problem. I have not seen new 
arguments for a while. 
I also have not seen that people from the one side have to (or in?) a 
significant extent been successful in convincing the other side. 
There have been two main opinions, composed of many slightly 
different sub-opinions, but with a clear line between both, not 

Is this only my impression?

I have been discussing this problem with an editor of an e-only 
journal who was strongly in favour of allowing e-only publication for 
nomenclature. We did not agree in any point with each other, except 
in one point. And we both agreed that this was the most important 
point (so actually we agreed in two points). 

The Commission has a difficult job, and we both had doubts that the 
Commission has the skills to solve it. 
What the Commission would need is people who have learned to work in 
a political environment, who have learned procedures how solutions 
can be worked out that will satisfy both parties of a subdivided 
community. The skills of finding a consensus between two extremely 
divergent opinions. It is necessary to find one solution for two 

We both came to the conclusion that the election process of 
the Commission is not likely to favour the selection of persons who 
have this kind of skills. 
For such a job it is certainly not necessary to have a Commission 
composed of many persons who have learned how to promote best their 
own interests and ideas. We rather would need people who are able to 
bring people from the two most divergent sides together, let them 
discuss and actively help them finding a proposal for a solution of 
the problem. 

Then bring this proposal again back to the community, then let them 
discuss again, and then see if something has come closer together. If 
yes, then final approval by electronic voting. And then amend the 

Enhancing the number of female Commissioners might contribute to 
improve this situation. I am convinced there are people who have 
these skills. 

What will certainly not help in this case, will be achiving a simple 
majority or two-third majority vote in the Commission. We need a 
solution that all zoologists can approve, including those with the 
most divergent opinions, and this goes slightly beyond the 
relatively simple process as outlined by Art. 16 of the Constitution.

I am personally disappointed that nearly nobody (except Richard Pyle) 
feels responsible for informing the community about the current state 
of discussion in the Commission, and about the next sceduled steps.


University of Goettingen, Germany

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