NOTE: If you do not want your serenity disturbed DO NOT READ

Stanley A. Gorodenski stan_gorodenski at
Tue Jan 25 16:29:06 EST 2005

Leps-L is the only international lep discussion group, that I am aware of, where, because it is not moderated, one can fully discuss issues if one has the fortitude to participate, i.e., reading something that is really jarring and taking it in stride, and not being afraid to be wrong at times (hard for me to do).

Today I read something in another discussion group that has made me think. I am bringing it to this list because the other list is moderated and the moderator would take exception to what I am wanting to discuss now. This is probably good because the other list is very good at what IT does, and things such as this would detract.

Here is what I read:
"... Cherubini ... does NOT illuminate natural movements of monarchs by practicing releases based on transfers. Understand: a monarch moved from site A to site B and recovered at site C says absolutely nothing about what monarchs originating at site B do in nature. ... In fact, it was transfer exercises he took part in decades ago(these are not experiments--there are no controls), moving Cal. monarchs to BC and elsewhere and mapping recoveries, that led to the erroneous maps and models which appeared in books and articles for more than a generation. If these transfer hijinks of Cherubini's--which are illegal on at least one level, unethical on others--are mixed in with recoveries of naturally occurring monarchs, as his recent map does, a whole new series of erroneous conclusions will be promulgated." 

My concerns are these. I hope the originator of the quote will forgive me for using his quote to make some points that are beyond the original meaning of the quote. First, if Cherubini's techniques and conclusions are wrong and they did result in erroneous maps and models, it is not his fault, but rather the fault of the system for allowing such falsehoods (if they are false) to be published. Mr. Cherubini is actually doing something and is very active. I must assume he is conducting his research in what is to him a logical and reasonable method. He should be able to do this, even if not scientific and lacking in controls, which is, to me, a freedom everyone should possess that does not disappear after reaching adulthood. If what someone is doing is not scientific and biased conclusions result, in theory the system will prevent publication (except in rags which thrive on such things). If it gets through and is published all it means is that system is not 100% effective, but even then, over time, these erroneous things will be recognized and corrected.

Second, doing something against a law should not be done. Being unethical (assuming it is not against a law) is more debatable, and it boils down to the freedom a person has to do research that to them is logical and reasonable, even if not deemed so by others. The flip side, I assume, is that it could make real scientific (assuming one can determine with absolute surety that it is scientific) studies more difficult to carry out, as was alluded to in the last sentence of the quote. 

These are just some ideas I wanted to throw out for criticism (constructive I hope).


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