On Thursday, December 12 at 6:30 p.m., Virginia Museum of Natural History Curator of Marine Biology, Dr. Judith Winston, will present "Taxonomy and You: The Importance of Taxonomy in Biodiversity Studies" as part of the museum's "2nd Thursday Science Talks" series. Each presentation within the series is free and open to the public thanks to generous donations to the VMNH Foundation Discovery Fund.
"Human beings are born taxonomists," said Winston, who serves as commissioner for the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, which provides and regulates the international rules that govern how species must be named . "Naming and classifying the world around us is how we make order out of chaos. Most people think that all the naming was finished long ago, but as E. O. Wilson just pointed out in The Economist, at this point in time, the more species we make extinct, the more species scientists continue to discover. But, if the destruction continues unchecked, eventually we will be the last species left --- in what Wilson calls the Eremocene, the Age of Loneliness. Taxonomy is not finished. Taxonomy is survival. This talk is about how it is done and how it works for all of us."
The museum's "2nd Thursday Science Talks" take place on the second Thursday of every month now through May 8, 2014. Presenters include museum curators, university professors and VMNH research associates who bring to the audience a unique topic each month relative to people's lives. For a complete list of upcoming presentations and to learn more about the museum's world-renowned scientific research programs, visit www.vmnh.net.