[Taxacom] article on the decline of taxonomists

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Sep 9 18:30:42 CDT 2010


> Quote: "here is no tradition of — much less a requirement for — independent 
>testing and verification of the accuracy of the
identifications that taxonomists produce, unlike in virtually every other 
scientific discipline."

Hogwash! There is a definite tradition of keeping voucher specimens so IDs can 
be revisited if need be, though, in my experince, this is not often actually 
done. Ideally, you should be able to examine a voucher specimen from any 
published ID...

Stephen

 



________________________________
From: Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Fri, 10 September, 2010 9:01:54 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] article on the decline of taxonomists


The article touches on human error, and here is another comment in Nature
this week on that, also relevant to the auto-identification thread a while
back.

Quote: "here is no tradition of — much less a requirement for —
independent testing and verification of the accuracy of the
identifications that taxonomists produce, unlike in virtually every other
scientific discipline."

You get what you pay for is my experience. Of course missidentifications,
indeterminables, and imprecise ids, are always more likely if we are given
bad specimens or relatively unknown faunas without monography.

"Time to automate identification"
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/467154a

>>> On 7/09/2010 at 4:42 a.m., Felix Sperling <felix.sperling at ualberta.ca>
wrote:
> Here is on the state of taxonomy by Matthew Hart in Saturday's Globe and
Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/the‑case‑of‑the‑vanishing‑taxonomists/article1696020/





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