News FocusTAXONOMY

Linnaeus's Last Stand?

Science  23 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5512, pp. 2304-2307
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5512.2304

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Summary

A small but powerful contingent of systematists is challenging more than 2 centuries of taxonomic tradition by proposing a new system for naming and classifying life, one they say is more in line with the current understanding of evolution. Their brash proposal, which will be debated at a symposium in Washington, D.C., on 30 and 31 March, has raised the ire of the more conservative leaders in the field, who maintain that the shortcomings of the old system and the advantages of the new one, known as "PhyloCode," have been exaggerated. The resulting controversy over the new naming system has pitted colleague against colleague, office mate against office mate.

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