[Taxacom] Fwd: describing new species

JF Mate aphodiinaemate at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 16:43:59 CST 2012

Northern and central Europe are the gold standard, both in terms of
accessibility to biodiversity information (comprehensive guides to
most groups) as well as taxonomic completeness and stability. This
makes it possible to move beyond a merely descriptive phase and work
on other things such as making biodiversity more accessible to the
general public. Alas, biodiversity is rather poor in comparison to
other temperate countries like NZ (never mind the tropics). Not to
mention the comparative advantage of having a large number of amateurs
working in NC Europe continuously for hundreds of years. So I don´t
expect any of the current Taxacomers to be around when a Peterson or
Aidgap pocket guide to the Coleoptera of the Congo comes out, for
example. That is assuming the legion of retired taxonomists Richard
mentions is replenished, and it doesn´t look all that good.


On 18 December 2012 22:30, Michael Wilson <wilsomichael at gmail.com> wrote:
> Colleagues
> To (partly) address Neal's comment. To me it remains essential to
> describe new species as part of a revision of a group. But some seem
> to prioritise and celebrate the description of 'new species' over the
> recognition of 'known' species. How many places in the world are you
> able to identify 'common' species in many groups without special
> expertise and knowledge of the literature? Would the Journal that
> rejected Chris's paper publish a paper in which a key to say 20 known
> species was given that made life easier for users- or is that not
> considered science now?  A colleague did say to me some time ago- if
> you make taxonomy too easy for others to use we won't have jobs... but
> that's another issue.
> Mike Wilson
> National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, UK
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