[Taxacom] What A Great Time to be a Young Systematist

Peter Rauch peterar at berkeley.edu
Mon Oct 27 22:05:29 CDT 2014

My definition of "enough", if it is to be called that, doesn't preemtively
doom us. Instead, it rings our bell, for a call to action. The action is to
avoid complacency regarding how many resources we require to avoid
continued degradation of our world biodiversity. It's a definition that
suggests we need to do a lot more --including recognizing and supporting a
MUCH GRANDER societal system of support for systematics that underpins our
ability to understand how our biodiversity support our Humanity for better
and for worse (which, of course, is of no concern to Mother Nature, but
only to us humans alone).

So, "quit" ? No. Be happy that systematics is alive and becoming ever more
sophisticated in its science ? Sure.   But, let's keep all that in relative
perspective --it's still only a piddling drop in the bucket. The new
generations of systematic biologists and their brethren have got a huge job
before them --way beyond the resources currently allocated or anticipated,
and it's only getting bigger and more intractable (from a Humanity survival


On Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 5:54 PM, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:

> Using that definition of "enough" preemptively dooms us to failure,
> depression and surrender.   "Enough" in that sense would leave us short of
> people to grow our food.  Reality is NOT our enemy.  The good news is we
> are generating enough societally recognized value to carry the fight
> forward, which is more than we often hear.
> Using your definition of success, you might as well quit now.
> Mike
> On 10/27/2014 6:25 PM, Peter Rauch wrote:
>   Mike states: "The death of US systematic entomology is no where in
> sight!"
>  But, from an ecological / environmental catastrophic perspective, is this
> even in the ball park of Enough Resources being dedicated to the Need ?
>  It's one thing to look at the absolute scale of entomological systematics
> enterprise, and observe that it is stable or even "growing".  It's quite
> another to look at the (totally unsatisfied) need relative to how much of
> the World's habitats/faunas have been decimated over the past 50 years.
>  Of course, the need is not only for entomological systematists, not only
> systematists, not only for ecologists, not only for conservationists.
> They're all AWOL from the World Societal Need --to learn about what we
> have, to educate others about it, to influence Policy Makers, to thwart
> Reckless Development == Environmental Havoc == Ruthless Selfish Ignorant
> "Management" of our natural resources.  We do need activists, warriors,
> recruitment of Youth who know a bug when they see one, who know what to do
> with that information when they gather it.
>  This is no time to beome soothed with maintenance of the status quo.
> Indeed, there is no better time to be a young systematist --there shouldn't
> ever be a worse time for it either.
> Peter
> On Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 4:58 PM, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu>
> wrote:
>> Dear Taxacomers,
>> We see a lot of doom and gloom on this list, but in my career, I have
>> never seen a better time to be a young systematist!  In North American
>> entomology, we have seen 6 endowed professorships/curators, 3 of them new,
>> either just filled, open or about to be open.  Plus, a major opening in a
>> top university just filled, leaving an opening where that person came from,
>> 2 in top museums, plus more than the normal set of collection managers and
>> other non-faculty positions. The death of US systematic entomology is no
>> where in sight!
>> Mike
>> --
>> __________________________________________________
>> 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
>> USA
>> (406) 994-4610 <%28406%29%20994-4610> (voice)
>> (406) 994-6029 <%28406%29%20994-6029> (FAX)
>> mivie at montana.edu

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