[Taxacom] A taxonomists lament 1887

Martin Wiemers martin.wiemers at univie.ac.at
Mon Oct 22 07:46:41 CDT 2018

Dear John & all,

for those of you who are interested in Grote's life (after NY he left 
for Germany), a brief biography can be found here: 

Best wishes,

Martin Wiemers

Am 22.10.2018 um 14:11 schrieb John Grehan:
> I present the commentary below only as a historical interest, not to argue
> any point about such matters which is outside the direct scope of Taxacom,
> although many of the themes remain with us today. It caught me by surprise
> in a standard entomological account. For the non-entomologist, the author,
> Grote worked on Lepidoptera taxonomy. He was at one time a director of the
> Buffalo Museum of Sciences and from what I recall, the circumstances of his
> leaving that position involved some difficulties, but I do not know if that
> was before or after this article.
> John Grehan
> Grote, A.R. 1887. A chapter on the structure of butterflies and moths. 18th
> annual report of the Entomological Society of Ontario.
> "Nor does the materialistic selfishness and insincerity of the present
> century console us! At a time when more than ever the principles of
> Christianity are needed, Christianity is going out. Almost do we prefer the
> intellectual swindle of the last century to what we now suffer. Money rules
> the world, and the commercial balance sheet is waited for; not the spring
> and the new year. Everybody asks me, Does your Entomology, your Art, pa?
> How much do you get by it? I have even been suspected of using it merely to
> make money by it, which, in one sense, complimented me. But mainly those
> who deal in humbug, claptrap, and lies, make money, in Entomology as in
> other things. If you are poor and have only your good reputation, it is a
> proof that you have kept yourself reasonably unspotted from a world of
> deceit and fraud, a world which, in the past at least, has rewarded the
> betrayer, the successful perjurer, and martyred every human heart that beat
> for it, ridiculted and oppressed every intellect that opposed to its
> unreason and folly. In every circle of society and activity, the same story
> of suffering and wrong is wearisomely repeated. Still, hope remains behind
> and has not flown even out of our Entomological boxes. Thus I wander from
> my subject, I hope not altogether aimlessly.
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> Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 31 Some Years, 1987-2018.

Dr. Martin Wiemers
Department of Community Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4
06120 Halle
Tel. +49 345 558-5322
e-mail: martin.wiemers at ufz.de

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