[Taxacom] E.O. Wilson in The Economist

Donat Agosti agosti at amnh.org
Mon Dec 2 05:29:57 CST 2013

This is a very saddening article. It could have been written in 1992 (and in
fact, the very similar arguments have been used) and the results are all
known: Biodiversity cannot be further away from our political agenda, the
funding agencies, and I assume from our own top values in live. An article
in a venue like the Economist needs be electrifying.  Another missed chance.
Furthermore, we still struggle to build the biodiversity infrastructure
needed to tackle the most important questions and make a reasonable argument
other than emotionally approaching the world economic leaders (.. be
careful, otherwise you feel lonely) whilst we all drift into a virtual world
that has little to do with other species other than Pokemons et al.

Wilson could have plaid a crucial role in keeping biodiversity on the
agenda. Neither in his taxonomic domain, where he would not support a joint
global ant project, nor in his commercial publishing activities (eg E.O.
Wilson's life on Earth) to make biological information accessible
(http://tinyurl.com/otgc6xt), whilst he could have been  using open access
course ware or publications, nor in his failed vision of EOL (write an
authoritative page for each species) that produced a lot of harm to this
otherwise undisputed project, did he show a visionary mind.

The fact that we have a broken ICZN, no list of species of the world are but
one follow-up of a failed misadvised mission where Wilson was clearly at the
center.  Unfortunately, he is more obsessed with controlling data, buzz
words instead of sharing and adding to the Commons. With his attitude he is
unfortunately only contributing to the champions of  the highly fragmented,
closed data landscape in conservation and taxonomy that does not proof a
successful model.


-----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----
Von: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] Im Auftrag von Colin Favret
Gesendet: Monday, December 2, 2013 12:17 AM
An: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Betreff: [Taxacom] E.O. Wilson in The Economist

Nice to see taxonomy get a good plug in an influential venue.


Cheer, Colin
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