[Taxacom] Amateurs in the Commission

Richard Wells envirodata at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 11 06:36:57 CDT 2018

Hi Lyn,

As an amateur herpetologist of over 50 years standing I can confidently state that from my observations ALL the Commissioners of the ICZN could probably be regarded as amateurs, as an 'amateur' by definition is one who does what they do for the love of it...

Their Station in life, or their Wealth, or even their Intellect are all secondary to the love of their life. One may earn a living in many and varied ways to be sure, but it matters not how rich or how poor they may be, or under whose patronage they may shelter, or how many letters may follow their name. Where love is concerned we are all butter on the same slice of bread, because the only thing that really matters is whether or not they LOVE what they do. Amateurs in zoology may be found endlessly riding on grant gravy trains, others even spend their life wallowing in the filthy lucra of the academic system, but many just eek out a miserable existence by grovelling for crumbs as a labourer or just waste away on the dole to fund their real work. It doesn't matter one iota...if you love your science, you are an amateur in its purest form.
Really people, the only measure of value here is whether one actually LOVES their vocation, and let's face it, anyone who volunteers to nit-pick ad-infinitum in the ICZN over something that most couldn't give a rats about, MUST truly LOVE what they are doing - it's a No-Brainer. So just face the fact that you are all a big fat pack of glorious AMATEURS. And revel in it, brag about even. Announce it at the next International Congress on Anything that No One Else Really Cares About that you are AMATEURS and you are finally coming out as a Full-Blown, Fully-Loaded Card-Carrying AMATEUR and that you are PROUD to be one too. Scream it from a mountain of unsold issues of that sycophantic rag Zootaxa if you will, or just whisper it quietly to your cohorts in the tea room - it doesn't matter how you do it - just have the courage to stand up for what must be said. And here's the real gift: This truth will set you all free to cope with the ravings of Nomenclatural Ninconpoops and the Ascended Masters in Genetics alike. Just cross the Rubicon and Declare the Amateur Status of the ICZN in the next Edition of the Code. Commissioners bite the bullet and take your place among the greats - like those amateurs of the past such as Darwin, Galileo, and Da Vinci. I implore the Commissioners of the ICZN, to no longer try to conceal your Amateurism by covering your every sentence with an anonymous peer review opinion. Come clean, rise up and declare to the world in the words of the great (amateur) Bard himself....from this day to the end of time, without our being remembered: we few, we happy few, we band of brothers—for whoever sheds his blood with me today shall be my brother. However humble his birth, this day shall grant him nobility as an AMATEUR...

Richard Wells


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