[Taxacom] Editorial on biodiversity collections

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Fri Oct 9 17:43:21 CDT 2020

Scott - I agree with most of the sentiments (apart from the molecular
reductionism). However, these have been said before, repeatedly over the
decades. Is this not just talking to ourselves again? Doesn't seem to make
much difference, if any. And it's not just a matter of collections, but the
research staff to support them (as it seems that many museums reduce down
mostly collection managers only or primarily) as active resources developed
though new works (particularly taxonomic studies, but also systematics in
general). So, much as I like most of the sentiments, it seems that I have
heard them before over many decades - to no real effect. Perhaps I am just
getting too old.

John Grehan

On Fri, Oct 9, 2020 at 2:48 PM Miller, Scott via Taxacom <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> This editorial published today in SCIENCE focuses attention on the
> importance of biological collections in efforts to preserve biodiversity.
> The final paragraph, shown below, is especially relevant in these times.
> Raven, P. H., and S. E. Miller. 2020. Here today, gone tomorrow. Science
> 370(6513):149.
> Free download at https://science.sciencemag.org/content/370/6513/149
> "Many of the world's biological collections are in institutions that
> depend in part on attendance for their support. In this time of coronavirus
> disease 2019 (COVID-19), many of them will fail financially or be unable to
> continue maintaining their own collections. These and other potentially
> "orphan" collections have immense value and should be monitored and
> incorporated as needed into permanent homes. This is likely to be our last
> chance to know many of Earth's species. We must make the most of it."
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