[Taxacom] Funding by NSF for taxonomy and phylogenetics compared
Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Sun Jan 10 11:06:29 CST 2016
I have submitted over the years various diatribes and Jeremiads to Taxacom against the outrages of phylogenetics. Some Taxacomers have reassured us that phylogenetics is a passing fad, and will fade away like the morning dew, or change into something deep and refreshing.
Just to check with reality, I searched the funding database in NSF for the words "phylogeny" and "taxonomy" in the titles or abstracts for the last 5 years. The results, which I tabulated in Excel, are:
2015 33611140 2015 16574900
2014 23649263 2014 14951327
2013 11091123 2013 12055369
2012 8052574 2012 16439643
2011 8801433 2011 22627716
total 85205533 total 82648955
Thus, projects about "phylogeny" and those about "taxonomy" are about equally funded over the last 5 years at $82 to 85 million dollars. Taxonomy seems to be holding steady at around $12-14 million per year, but phylogeny has had a burst of popularity among NSF grantors, doubling in funding during 2013-2014, and then increasing in 2015 by another 10 million dollars. It is presently funded at double the rate of taxonomy.
Some have said that phylogenetics research usually includes good taxonomy. Check the pages of top phylogenetics journals and see if you agree with them that phylogenetics contributes to taxonomic knowledge in the classical sense.
Richard H. Zander
Missouri Botanical Garden - 4344 Shaw Blvd. - St. Louis - Missouri - 63110 - USA
richard.zander at mobot.org<mailto:richard.zander at mobot.org>
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
More information about the Taxacom