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Subject: Conservation literature

Conservation literature

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2002
This is in reference to Jack Ogden's comment about abstract vs
article publication and my feedback.  I have some problems with the
idea that some research is inherently better because it has been
published in peer reviewed articles vs that which might come from
bench workers reporting their observations.  One can learn quite a
bit about how the edifice of our scientific knowledge has been build
up by "amateurs" and self-taught practitioners from Wendt's, In
Search of Adam.  One does not have to refer to the battle of titans
like Cuvier and Lamark to know that a degree does not produce the
most insightful or useful products or important advances in science.
Reading through Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions one
learns how entrenched generations of titled scientists can stifle
advances simply because they challenge authority or are from the
"uncredentialed". Just as there have been the cases of scholars
publishing their student's ideas (not all end-of-term papers are
bad) I do not have absolute confidence in peer review either.  I am
all for the "succinct" (I suppose here Dr. Ogden means useful or
brilliant) as opposed to the superficial, but I do dislike editorial
arrogance which simply reflects the privilege of authority.

Niccolo Caldararo

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:77
                  Distributed: Thursday, May 16, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-77-004
Received on Thursday, 16 May, 2002

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