ERIC Number: EJ921113
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Recovery Plan for the Endangered Taxonomy Profession
Pearson, David L.; Hamilton, Andrew L.; Erwin, Terry L.
BioScience, v61 n1 p58-63 Jan 2011
The worldwide decline in taxonomists has a broad impact on biology and society. Learning from general historical patterns of science and understanding social changes caused by growing economies, we propose changes in priorities for training taxonomists to reverse these losses. Academically trained professionals, parataxonomists (local assistants trained by professional biologists), youths educated with an emphasis on natural history, and self-supported expert amateurs are the major sources of taxonomists. Recruiting effort from each category is best determined by public attitudes toward education, as well as the availability of discretionary funds and leisure time. Instead of concentrating on descriptions of species and narrow studies of morphology and DNA, the duties of the few professional taxonomists of the future also will be to use cyberspace and a wide range of skills to recruit, train, and provide direction for expert amateurs, young students, parataxonomists, the general public, and governments.
Descriptors: Leisure Time, Classification, Biology, Internet, Science Education, Science Instruction, Science History, Social Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A