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[Killietalk] axelrod update minor correction/2
Ray is correct on both of his points. It is now not within the code for anyone
to name an organism after himself. And yes, I knew that Schultz was an
employee of TFH (in a sort of consulting role; his main job was at the
Smithsonian) when the cardinal tetra was discovered. I don't think, however,
that Schultz required much "convincing." He had already been "kicked upstairs"
at the Smithsonian, if I recall correctly... His work was not generally highly
regarded, and it is likely that the association with HRA gave him some ego
reinforcement that was otherwise uncommon in his professional associations...
The boundaries of professional courtesy prevent me being more specific here,
excerpt to say that scientists are no more immune from the temptations of ego
stroking than anybody else.
There is probably a doctoral dissertation (or perhaps a very good masters
thesis) to be written on the very effective way that HRA used general
misconceptions among the lay public as marketing tools. Certainly, his
generation and use of his patronyms fell into that category. Another was his
articles on collecting fishes in the Amazon jungles. In many of them, as I
recall, you got the impression that he was sort of right along side Teddy
Roosevelt... This was never stated
directly, but that impression was nonetheless conveyed to the reader. It
certainly added to his "aura" as an "explorer." What I find most depressing
about this whole time period was that the quality of published information did
not seem to play a decisive role in the competition in the aquarium publishing
To return to Ray's first point for a moment, it makes an amusing combination
with the example that Bobby Ellerman brought up, of Fp. roloffi. When he wrote
hi9s article, Roloff was clearly under the impression that A. roloffi had
already been described by Ahl. It had not, and we ended up with A. roloffi
Roloff. That is, we have an unintentional "autodescribed patronym." Later
on, when Clausen erected the genus name "Roloffia," we became blessed with
"Roloffia roloffi Roloff." Do we now need to redescribe Fp roloffi? Just a
Bruce J. Turner
Dept. Biol. Sci.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
"...We are Hokies. We will prevail..."
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