A polite request to All Leps-ers

Martha V. Lutz & Charles T. Lutz lutzrun at avalon.net
Sat Jun 10 17:47:16 EDT 2000

Hello Everyone . . . I don't speak up much, and don't always have time to
read everything, but am usually glad to be on this list.  I learn a lot and
keep in touch with a field that interests me.  I have a polite request for
those to whom it applies.

My background is a B.S. (1978) in entomology from Cornell U, an M.S. (with
research, directed by Dr. Peter Raven of the Missouri Botanical Garden,
1986) in botany from St. Louis U, and I am currently double-enrolled in a
PhD program at the University of Iowa (Science Education, ABD) and a PhD
program as a distance education student in entomology at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln (just starting my coursework).  I also have five kids
(ages 6-18), am a published poet, and ranked #10 in my age division as a
Master's Sprinter (200 M and 400 M) for 1999.

My request is this:  could we please use 'common' courtesy when composing
to the List as a whole?  It's just good sportsmanship to be polite--even to
those we consider competitors or adversaries.  We look bad when we stoop to
attack each other.  This list is intended to be a discussion to promote the
exchange of scientific ideas (correct me if I have that wrong!) and related
ideas and information.  Personal attacks degrade the mission of this list.
Could we have some little signal that we send when someone strays?  Just
something that will re-focus the writers on central issues, scientific
logic, rules of evidence, and courtesy.  Maybe the virtual equivalent of
ringing a bell?

Just a thought.

The goal would be to eliminate highly personal, nasty, and unsubstantiated
hyperbolic statements such as:

"(X)'s bias is amazing. He never misses a chance to attack the defense of
the environment."


"X  always attacks anyone or anything that suggests environmental preservation.
If something *might* be environmentally damaging you can be sure to see him
support it.
He sure is a Nature Hater."

No evidence is offered for the Extreme claim of "always" and "anything,"
and the last line in particular has no place in science.

Sorry to be so blunt about this.  I have hesitated for months, but finally
decided to speak up.

In Stride,
Martha Rosett Lutz

a.k.a. the old lady in Iowa City with arthritis, five kids, and a tarantula
in (almost) every room downstairs--and 100 A. polyphemus larvae on the
dining room table.

P.S.  Please excuse any typos; I got up at 4:30 this morning to run a mile
race in Keota, IA.  Got beaten by my 13-year-old son, but was first woman
anyway!  Now my eyes are tired . . .

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