[Taxacom] Electronic publication

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Jan 9 23:03:38 CST 2017

Although Hinrich has a good point, I think that he takes it a bit too far. For cases of seriously problematic names, we already have, and always have had, a solution, viz. apply to the Commission for the names to be deemed to be unavailable. If the problems aren't serious, then we don't really need a solution. The makeup of the Commission has certain problems, but I strongly advise against putting such powers (i.e. poser to deem names to be unavailable) in the hands of groups of taxonomists (who can be trusted to act in their own interests over that of the greater good).


On Tue, 10/1/17, Hinrich Kaiser <chalcopis at yahoo.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Electronic publication
 To: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>, "'Scott Thomson'" <scott.thomson321 at gmail.com>, "deepreef at bishopmuseum.org" <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
 Cc: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 5:51 PM
 is right, I certainly do not like the idea that minimally
 Code-compliant names should be considered valid for the
 purposes of nomenclature. On the contrary, I would like to
 see the bar for validity of taxonomic decisions (whether
 this would be new names or something else) RAISED to ensure
 that all such decisions are supported by verifiable data,
 produced using best practices in the best tradition of the
 Scientific Method. While initially my idea of a Taxon Filter
 becoming reality appeared a little bit far fetched, I think
 that any names produced by minimally Code-compliant
 procedures would require some form of quality control and
 the Taxon Filter models that.
 have seen the rapid production of names in the past, when
 unscrupulous or mentally ill individuals produced large sets
 of taxon names, unfettered by scientific processes and
 driven by their egos, and we see some of this still today.
 Given that new science builds on old science, we should
 learn from the mistakes of the past - and we need to
 integrate nomenclature into the scientific endeavor.
 Nomenclature is not science, it is a receptacle and an
 accounting mechanism for taxonomic decisions, subservient to
 the needs of science and scientists. I believe the next
 edition of the Code should include a set of best taxonomic
 practices that, from the date the new Code takes effect,
 forms the basis for rejecting names that violate these
 practices or the "spirit of the Code" as outlined
 in the Preamble, or the Code of Ethics. Anything else (i.e.,
 older names) would be governed by the 1999 edition as
 amended in 2012, with questionable issues past, present, and
 future adjudicated by scientific panels constituted from
 within individual disciplines. Thus, dipterists,
 nematologists, herpetologists, and other zoological
 specialty organizations would be asked to constitute such a
 panel however they see fit, and these panels would deal with
 enforcing the new Code, perhaps with the vote of two thirds
 of panel members required to reject a taxonomic decisions.
 Start with a 2-year trial for this system and see how it
 goes. If no panel forms, or if the panel does not reach the
 67% threshold, the Commission decides.
     On Monday, January 9, 2017 9:04 PM,
 Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
 so, if I understand you correctly, you are actually saying
 that you ARE indeed taking minimally code compliant
 descriptions of new taxa out of the publication metrics
 system! The idea appears to be that any taxonomist worth the
 title when then publish much fuller (re)descriptions in the
 usual way. But this is potentially problematic. I don't
 think Hinrich will like the idea, for it means that Code
 compliance results from minimal descriptions, which is all
 good for the likes of Hoser, etc. Besides, at the end of the
 day taxonomists are taxonomists, but other scientists
 (systematists, phylogeneticists, ecologists, etc.) simply
 use the output of taxonomists for other purposes. So, now
 they can easily make new names available in minimalist
 fashion and then charge ahead and use those names for other
 purposes! I don't see quality control on new names made
 available in minimalist fashion? Where is the peer review on
 the generation of new names?

More information about the Taxacom mailing list