[Taxacom] describing new species

Michael Wilson wilsomichael at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 03:54:26 CST 2012

John (and others)

Are there really any easy groups? How do we say something is too easy?
There might be easier parts of groups but taxonomic, nomenclatorial
and other difficulties occur everywhere that needs our expertise and

I remember the reaction of a colleague in the NHM many years ago on
the publication of a paper entitled "New and little known... " He said
they "may be new and little known to him (the author) but they are not
to me..."  But I digress


Dr Michael R Wilson
Head of Entomology Section
Dept Biodiversity & Systematic Biology
National Museum of Wales
Cardiff, CF23 5ET, UK

Tel: +44 2920 573263
email: mike.wilson at museumwales.ac.uk

On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 9:30 AM, John Noyes <j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk> wrote:
> Hi Mike,
> Personally, I think we should make taxonomy as easy as possible to others. If the taxonomy of the group on which you work is too easy then you are working on the wrong group.
> John
> John Noyes
> Scientific Associate
> Department of Entomology
> Natural History Museum
> Cromwell Road
> South Kensington
> London SW7 5BD
> UK
> jsn at nhm.ac.uk
> Tel.: +44 (0) 207 942 5594
> Fax.: +44 (0) 207 942 5229
> Universal Chalcidoidea Database (everything you wanted to know about chalcidoids and more):
> www.nhm.ac.uk/chalcidoids
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Michael Wilson
> Sent: 18 December 2012 21:30
> To: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] describing new species
> 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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