[Taxacom] Citizen Science
Fautin, Daphne G.
fautin at ku.edu
Mon Oct 27 08:14:37 CDT 2014
Beware those tadpoles. Although it was not of a species that your sister is likely to have picked up in a local UK park, my niece got one in preschool to raise through metamorphosis; a few years later the then-toad survived a move halfway across the US. I thought my niece would have to find a man to marry who was willing to accept the toad as well, but now, 30 years later, my niece is married and my sister has ended up tending the toad!
Daphne G. Fautin
Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Kansas
1200 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, Kansas 66045 USA
skype user name daphne.fautin
evo user name fautin
database of hexacorals, including sea anemones
most recent version released 2 January 2013
From: Taxacom [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] on behalf of Mike Sadka [sadkamike at gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2014 6:57 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Citizen Science
I recently encouraged my 7-year old niece to keep some tadpoles, and was
surprised to hear of the disapproving comments she and my sister received
while collecting a few in a local park.
Middle-class people, in the UK at least, can be disapproving even of that
(which is arguably doing the tadpoles a favour I feel).
The fortuitous silver lining was that it spurred my enraged sister into
becoming a determined and assiduous tadpole carer!
On Sun, Oct 26, 2014 at 8:32 AM, Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au>
> [Message split to avoid over-long ranting. Who, me?]
> You also may not appreciate that some traditional means of intellectual
> sharing are dying out for good reason. Natural history clubs aren't
> generally as big as they once were, and their memberships are aging.
> This does *not* mean that younger people aren't interested in natural
> history. It means that if you're under 30, the last thing you want to do to
> further your interests is join a formal society of old folks, pay
> membership fees, go to monthly meetings and vote on procedures and
> constitutions and insurance etc. This applies to many other
> special-interest societies, not just natural history clubs.
> If you're under 30, you prefer to share and further your interests any
> time at all online, with a huge community of like-minded people, for free.
> There's also a subset of the population who are asocial, for any number of
> personality or other reasons. They might have real talent and interest in
> some aspect of natural history study, but formal clubs aren't for them. For
> social (and geographical!) isolates, the Net offers a fantastic opportunity
> to share and contribute.
> Once upon a time, too, the standard means for sharing knowledge about some
> subject was a book, which meant finding or becoming a publisher, and
> putting up with the constraints of book format. In 2014, the most effective
> means of sharing knowledge is a website or a Facebook page. Cheaper, faster
> to generate, enormously larger capacity to store information, unbeatable
> capacity to update and correct, enormously larger audience.
> There are still very good field guides being published on paper, although
> many of them are also available as e-books. Many young scientists I know,
> and probably most young naturalist, want those guides as apps for a
> smartphone, or at least in digital form to be carried into the field on a
> To encourage and promote intellectual sharing among young naturalists,
> build a website or Facebook page for your special interest. The decline of
> nature club membership and nature-book sales reflects a change in the
> preferred media for information exchange, not a decline in interest in
> Dr Robert Mesibov
> Honorary Research Associate
> Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
> School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania
> Home contact:
> PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
> (03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
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> Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.
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