[Taxacom] E.O. Wilson in The Economist

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Mon Dec 2 10:21:25 CST 2013


It occurred to me too that what was said here could have been said in the
past, and in my recollection much of what was said was widely promoted in
the public eye back in the 1980's. After several decades I do wonder
whether all the emphasis on massive databases and documentation will really
change anything much. The DMZ between north and south Korea seems to have
preserved the only substantial amount of natural habitat in the region. The
worry is that when peace one day breaks out, all that will be left will be
a few token reservations.

John Grehan


On Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 6:29 AM, Donat Agosti <agosti at amnh.org> wrote:

> 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.
>
> Donat
>
>
>
> -----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.
>
>
> http://www.economist.com/news/21589083-man-must-do-more-preserve-rest-life-e
> arth-warns-edward-o-wilson-professor-emeritus
>
> Cheer, Colin
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