Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Over The Next Few Years,

the scientific community is going to be in uproar,

if this article by Nathalie Alonso published a couple of days ago, is anything to go by, above a McCown's longspur, (Rhynchophanes mccownii) photograph Andeansolitaire - Own work, CCBY-SA 4.0, and the problem is? at the height of colonialism and American westward expansion, a number of peoples names associated with slavery and white supremacy were used to have flora and fauna named after them, in the case of the bird above McCown’s longspur, a grassland bird that was originally named after Confederate general John Porter McCown. The species is now called the thick-billed longspur. It marked the first time the American Ornithological Society (AOS) organization agreed to change a bird’s name because it was racially offensive, as it happens they, (AOS) found that of the more than 2,000 bird species in North America, another 149 had eponymous names, most of which were assigned by European and American naturalists in the 19th century, and of course here is the problem, for a few hundred years or more most worldwide explores, men and women that would collect specimens for museums or private collections, botanist, colonialisers, naturalists or researchers were white, and had birds, animals, fish, plants and insects named after them, so I am guessing that we will see a mighty upheaval in the scientific world, as every living creature is put under the racists microscope and new names and classification of them are found, now that the American Ornithological Society has set a precedent.

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