[Taxacom] Call for Comments: Taxonomic Practice and the Code

Kim van der Linde kim at kimvdlinde.com
Tue Jan 7 21:11:03 CST 2014

I will submit an comment through the formal channels, and it will be 
along the line of: HELL NO!


On 1/7/2014 1:34 PM, Doug Yanega wrote:
> Dear All: I and fellow ICZN Commissioner Mark Harvey have just published
> a brief note, titled as in the subject header, in the Bulletin of
> Zoological Nomenclature. The online version is available at
> *http://iczn.org/node/40405*
> I feel it is arguably the most important such solicitation in the
> history of the ICZN, as it could potentially affect one of the most
> fundamental principles of the Code; namely, that the Code and Commission
> remain neutral regarding violations of standards of taxonomic practice
> and ethics. As such, I wish to draw people's attention to it, and take
> this opportunity to emphasize several things:
> (1) For everyone reading this, YOUR participation is crucial, whether
> you are a practicing taxonomist or not, because everyone who studies
> living organisms is affected by controversies surrounding the correct
> names to be used for those organisms. This is far too important an issue
> to allow a tiny handful of people to have undue influence over the
> course of the discussion, and the future of taxonomy. The Commission is
> not likely to undertake fundamental changes in the Code unless there is
> a CLEAR MAJORITY in terms of public opinion. As such, I am hoping to
> have hundreds, if not thousands, of responses submitted in response to
> this solicitation, so we on the Commission have a truly significant
> sample size to work with. I therefore encourage everyone reading this to
> forward this message (in its entirety) to all of their colleagues.
> (2) PLEASE do not respond to this solicitation here, in this newsgroup.
> *Instructions for submitting comments can be found at
> http://iczn.org/content/instructions-comments* (and also see additional
> important details in the solicitation itself). This is NOT a call for a
> public debate - I would even prefer to receive personal e-mail requests
> for clarification, however numerous, rather than have this turn into a
> public free-for-all, because it is a very contentious subject.
> (3) PLEASE read the solicitation carefully. We tried to make it concise,
> and explicit. I wish to emphasize that the question at hand is a GENERAL
> one, regarding the *role of standards and ethics in the practice of
> taxonomy and nomenclature*. I will quote the pertinent passage, in order
> to reinforce the idea:
> "We must stress that this is a very broad issue, which manifests in many
> ways, affects many disciplines, and has occurred throughout the history
> of taxonomy. We also recognize that the most prominent and timely
> concerns relate to issues such as plagiarism, falsification of data,
> criminal activities, and practices that subvert or circumvent the
> process of peer review (which is considered an essential element of all
> scientific practice, taxonomy included). This is, emphatically, not a
> referendum on professionals versus amateurs (or other cultural
> stereotypes), nor a referendum on the merits (or lack thereof) of peer
> review. Basically, what we seek to know is whether the taxonomic
> community wants to continue dealing with these issues at their own
> discretion, or whether they want the Commission to be empowered to do so
> (or something in between); we will not do so on our own initiative."
> (4) For those of you seeking a "nutshell version" of what the heart of
> the controversy is that triggered this solicitation in the first place,
> I can offer the following: "Are there, or are there not, circumstances -
> when the opinion of the community is that a work has been produced in a
> manner incompatible with standards of taxonomic practice and ethics -
> where names or nomenclatural acts in a work should be treated /as if
> they had never been published/?". Note, however, that this is not the
> only possible approach! If you have a clear opinion on this, or
> alternatives, then please communicate your thoughts to the Commission
> for consideration.
> Sincerely,

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