Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Reliability of information

Reliability of information

From: Walter Henry <whenry>
Date: Wednesday, September 11, 1996
Beverly makes an important point: the DistList entails a broad range
of participants, all with serious professional concerns about
conservation, but not all--or even most--, with special expertise in
the topics under discussion, and it is often difficult to evaluate
the reliability of information posted here. As it is, there are
pearls, and there are empty shells. I have always hoped, assumed,
expected, that the conservation professionals would kick in when
someone says something questionable, the statement will be
questioned, and sometimes indeed this happens. I am also told by
some of you that you respond privately to people, in order to avoid
embarrassing people, which is all well and good, but it were a better
thing for all that you share your knowledge publicly (and

So that's my first request, that conservation professionals feel
more free to chime in when postings contain errors in fact,
questionable judgement, ethical problems, etc. (obviously this is
not an invitation to flame wars, character assassination, or abuse;
we have to save something for dinner conversation at our various
annual meetings).

Another aid to evaluating information is knowing just who it is what
said what, so I'd also ask that you all to be sure to sign your
messages. I've just updated the DistList welcome material to include
the following:

     Anonymous postings are not allowed (nor are postings from a
    department, institution or other non-human entity. Please
    identify yourself clearly (at least full name and title, postal
    address and phone number if you wish).  If you have a commercial
    interest in a material/service that your are commenting on, the
    signature should make this clear (e.g. by including your company
    name.) Elaborate sigs are not prohibited as are From: lines with
    phone number, cute quotations and other extraneous materials,
    and will be excised, which makes more editing work for me.

I have mixed feelings about this, because as a comic strip put it a
couple of years ago, "on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog".
This is indeed part of the strength of the net; one is judged by the
quality of her contributions, not by the authority of her title,
educational background, etc.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:27
               Distributed: Wednesday, September 11, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-27-002
Received on Wednesday, 11 September, 1996

[Search all CoOL documents]