specimens vs "Dead Butterflies"

Michael Gochfeld gochfeld at eohsi.rutgers.edu
Thu Jun 7 11:59:34 EDT 2001

Norbert wrote: 

I believe that specimens (dead organisms) will
continue to play an important role in science and in documentation of 
global biodiversity -

I share that belief, but (as I have written often before) I suspect that 
fewer and few institutions will commit to preserving and curating 
specimens, and old curatorial policies may not be congruent with the 
future needs of systematics or conservation biology. 

Xrays are now being "curated" in digital format. (Lucky thing too since 
hospitals can discard the films after 5-7 years).  Will there come a 
time when only digital images of the type specimen (with every 
conceived of digital measurement), and digital biochemical sequences 
remain---the virtual musuem. 

M. Gochfeld


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