[Taxacom] The role of ADBC (NSF national digitizationsol...

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Wed Sep 29 20:14:52 CDT 2010


So you meant by 'Is taxonomy a closed shop?' that taxonomists are not doing enough to make their specialist knowledge widely available? How much is enough? How much 'de-esotericising' (sorry) of knowledge of the NZ beetle fauna would satisfy which particular users?

The wider public also clearly derives benefits from the work of taxonomists: see any of the taxonomy/biodiversity promotions of the last X years for lists and case histories. 'a remotely comprehensive or reliable resource on the world's biota' is not high on the list of public benefits that taxonomists are aiming for, or they would be dropping all their other work to labour for the acronyms. Taxonomists deliver benefits more directly in their specialties. They do it by adapting what they know to particular problems or queries, and not by stripping what they know down to names and name uses to suit gigantic nomenclatural databases. Or have I misread you again?
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
Webpage: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/?articleID=570

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