[Taxacom] A good year indeed!

Michael A. Ivie mivie at montana.edu
Thu Nov 13 14:13:38 CST 2014


It is at least as valid as those who loudly and often proclaim the 
demise of the science to bemoan their own lack of success at getting the 
job they think they deserve.

These facts are not my opinion: There are always more 
taxonomists/systematists produced than there are jobs openings. 
Therefore, the jobs that open are very highly competitive.  Those who 
are chosen for these jobs, and subsequently earn tenure, are carefully 
evaluated several times and determined to be excellent. Some years there 
are more jobs than others.  The number of jobs in a given year 
determines the number of successful applicants, so the selection is 
stronger in some years than others.

What is there to claim is personal opinion?  Social Darwinism is just a 
canard to throw when you don't want the truth to be the truth.


On 11/13/2014 1:00 PM, JF Mate wrote:
>> As in all human enterprises, the laws of Malthus apply to our science.Our "reproductive capacity" is far higher than the carrying capacity of our institutions. There will always be a larger supply of propagules than can survive (i.e. be provided academic jobs), and selection will take the best and discard the others, often a majority. Some cohorts will have very strong selection, so that a tiny percentage make it through, and at other times selection will be relaxed, and a larger percentage will make it. Of course, this means that sometimes very excellent propagules will be discarded in lean times, and less excellent ones will make it through in fat times. However, the academic reproductive rate will always provide a diverse pool with different attributes and abilities, so that the overall resulting set will be maximally beneficial to the future.
> Mike, you are flogging a dead horse with a new stick. Do you think it
> wise to appeal to social darwinism to support your own personal
> opinion?
> Best
> Jason
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> Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.


Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50
1911 West Lincoln Street
NW corner of Lincoln and S.19th
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717

(406) 994-4610 (voice)
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mivie at montana.edu

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