[Taxacom] Pop article on taxonomy's decline

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Thu Jan 27 17:41:08 CST 2011

Hi, Stephen.

It's sometimes hard not to be exasperated on Taxacom!

I didn't single out acronyms. I started this thread by linking to an article in Wired in which the author says the rise of the acronyms may be contributing to the decline in taxonomy. The author makes this point twice and I've posted both quotes.

Rich Pyle disagrees with this particular point. I've been responding item by item to his attacks and defending the Wired author's position by explaining my own take on how the acronyms and real taxonomy get along or otherwise.

If you'd like me to present a full exposition of the reasons for the decline in taxonomy, including the rise of cladistics, academic politics and economics, etc etc, I'm afraid I have to say I haven't got the time. I'm doing field work, a website rebuild and two papers. I offered the Wired article link because it's well-written, it covers a subject often discussed on Taxacom and it makes a point (see above) that unsettles some people (e.g. Rich Pyle).

You're doing a fine job of presenting related issues on Taxacom and I leave that to you.
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
Ph: (03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
Webpage: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/?articleID=570

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