Is systematic biology dead?

linkurl:Systematics;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13070/ and linkurl:taxonomy,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22424/ sciences involved with identifying and organizing living things into distinct groups and establishing the relationships between those groups, are in serious danger of going extinct, according to a linkurl:report;http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldsctech/162/162.pdf released last month by a committee focused on science in the

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

Sep 7, 2008
linkurl:Systematics;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13070/ and linkurl:taxonomy,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22424/ sciences involved with identifying and organizing living things into distinct groups and establishing the relationships between those groups, are in serious danger of going extinct, according to a linkurl:report;http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldsctech/162/162.pdf released last month by a committee focused on science in the British Parliament. "We have concluded that the state of systematics and taxonomy in the UK, both in terms of the professional taxonomic community and volunteers, is unsatisfactory - in some areas, such as mycology, to the point of crisis - and that more needs to be done to ensure the future health of the discipline," the report, issued by the linkurl:House of Lords' Science and Technology Committee,;http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/science_and_technology_committee/about_the_committee.cfm reads. It's not just an academic issue: Systematics and taxonomy are crucial for identifying potentially harmful species of insect, linkurl:fungi,;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/52853/ or plant, fully understanding linkurl:ecosystem services;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/23277/ analyses, and tracking and combating linkurl:climate change,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54049/ among other roles. "A decline in taxonomy...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?