Sherborn Symposium: Knapp


Monographs have long been considered the îgold-standardî of taxonomic treatments. These comprehensive compilations of all knowledge about particular taxa or groups of taxa traditionally culminated a taxonomistís career and often took a lifetime to produce. Descriptive taxonomy has been likened to a cottage industry, the antithesis of the big science approach to tackling global problems. Taxonomy itself is currently in a state of flux; opinions differ as to whether revolution or evolution is necessary, and even then, what should actually happen when we do decide. Do we still need ìgold-standardî, life-consuming single-author taxonomic works? Are traditional monographs doomed to go the way to dinosaurs? I will explore the elements of monographic, ìgold-standardî taxonomic work and examine the workflow we traditionally use to produce them. I will suggest that taxonomists are important for only some parts of this workflow, and with that explore what modern taxonomists are really for and by extension what a modern monographic/taxonomic workflow might look like.

Audio and slides

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith