You’re invited to take part in the Taxonomy 2028 Challenge, to help create a vision for systematics and taxonomy in Australasia for the coming decade.
We’d like you to scan the horizon, and share what you see. Where would you like taxonomy and systematics to be in a decade? What achievements or programs would you like to see in place? What milestones would you like us to pass? What innovations in technology, infrastructure, funding or organisation will make a big difference to your work and to our taxonomy and systematics?
An inspiring and ambitious vision for the future is a key element of the Decadal Plan for Biosystematics and Taxonomy in Australasia 2018-2028, which is currently under development (see https://www.science.org.au/support/analysis/decadal-plans-science/biosystematics-taxonomy).
In thinking about this, please think in concrete terms. We’re after ideas that, after discussion and with broad community consensus, can be included in the Plan as specific objectives (such as projects, programs or milestones of activity) that will benefit both our science and our end-users. We will use these as hooks to argue for more resources, to create more visibility for our discipline, and to foster a more general appreciation and understanding of the value of taxonomy and systematics.
We also need to build the foundation for the next decade (2028-2038), so please think ahead.
The Taxonomy 2028 Challenge will work as follows. Please write a description of your idea. This should be fairly concise if possible, but your contribution could be a couple of lines, a paragraph, some dots points, a blog, or a full-blown discussion paper. Ideas cannot be too big, or too small (though we prefer big). If you have lots of ideas, please write separate pieces for each, unless they go together as a package. There’s no limit to the number of contributions per person.
In order to keep some consistency, please try to structure your contribution something like this:
By 2028 we will … [the big idea]
This will result in …., …., …. [the impact]
This matters because …., …., …. [the importance]
Resources to achieve this will be …., …., …. [the details]
Please try to think in the context of your own work and research group, but also outside to biodiversity in general - the Plan, after all, will cover all of biodiversity. Goals such as “By 2028 we will develop a complete phylogeny of all [.....] in a cool genus beginning with C” may be a little narrow in scope.
It’s probably a good idea to discuss your ideas with colleagues and friends, either before or after you write the first draft.
When you’re ready, please email your contribution(s) to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate in the email whether you’re happy to be publicly acknowledged, or would prefer to remain anonymous.
All contributions will be published on noto|biotica for comment and discussion as they come in. At the close of the Challenge, we’ll analyse all contributions for common themes, and use them for further discussions including for sector meetings later in the year. All contributors will be acknowledged in the final Decadal Plan.
We’re very keen to hear from as many people in our sector as possible; so, whether you’re paid staff, volunteer, associate, or student, whether you work directly in taxonomy or biosystematics, or in associated roles such as curation or bioinformatics, please put your thinking caps on.
We’re also very keen to hear from students and Early Career Researchers (after all, it’s your future we’re talking about). As encouragement, three prizes are up for offer, to a student or ECR who contributes the:
most popular idea
most novel idea;
most ambitious vision.
CSIRO Publishing is dedicated to publishing excellence in taxonomy and systematics, and has generously offered a prize for the winner of each category above. The prize consists of a $100 book voucher, as well as a subscription to your choice of journal (Australian Systematic Botany or Invertebrate Systematics) and free open access for your next publication to one of the above journals. Prizes will be judged for contributions received before 31 August 2017.
So – please do the vision thing, and let’s start shaping our future.