[Taxacom] Electronic publication

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 9 23:16:39 CST 2017

One difficulty though Hinrich is that the code explicitly separates the
science of taxonomy from nomenclature. So if I read you correctly what you
are asking is that the science is to be considered by the Code, through the
Commission, something it has deliberately avoided. Taxonomic freedom has
been seen as being important, yes people have abused that. Maybe some way
of dealing with it should be developed. The code is meant to be looking at
availability of names largely based on publication and priority. The other
problem with panels is who would be on them. Anyone? Restricted to people
who are taxonomists? I am being serious. In our field Hinrich, herpetology,
I read peoples papers, recent papers, where they cannot even write the
"important nomenclatural parts" of a paper so that their nomenclatural acts
are even valid. These are usually phylogeneticists, phylogeographers etc.
Should these people be judging nomenclatural acts when they cannot write
one? I am with Stephen on this, I am not sure random groups of "interested"
people can do that job appropriately.

On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 11:51 PM, Hinrich Kaiser <chalcopis at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Stephen 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.
> We 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.
> Hinrich
> On Monday, January 9, 2017 9:04 PM, Stephen Thorpe <
> stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
> Oh, 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?
> Stephen

Scott Thomson
Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo
Divisão de Vertebrados (Herpetologia)
Avenida Nazaré, 481, Ipiranga
04263-000, São Paulo, SP, Brasil
ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1279-2722
Lattes: *http://lattes.cnpq.br/0323517916624728*
Skype: Faendalimas
Skype Number: +55 (11) 3280 0144
Mobile Phone: +55 11 974 74 9095

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