The long-term perspective, about science, conservation or a particular discipline, is often lost. The broader view may be lost in the immediacy and fervor of publishing science that will move us along in understanding the complex world we live in or in facilitating management that will make a difference in the conservation of the beleaguered organisms we study, protect, and love. Several years ago the Journal of Herpetology began a new series of invited papers. This series was specifically intended to capture the long-term perspective of scientists who had gained that multi-decade view of their field. The pieces were intended to provide a forum for lessons learned, musings about the future of the discipline, and data, yet with the added depth and humanity that makes herpetology a unique science. We intended to chronicle some of the adventures, wisdom and heretofore unpublished data of “giants in our field” and to provide an opportunity for their shared wisdom and tribal lore to be communicated and archived for students, current and future, and for colleagues.
This series has been a success, but we want to draw the readership back to its presence. Publication in this section is by invitation only, and no more than one is published per issue. Papers reflect a multi-decade perspective on a particular herpetological issue, focusing on how the science has changed over the years, on what current views are and what future views might be. These pieces are highly readable because they include an element of anecdote such that readers are drawn not only to the science, but to the person behind that science and the challenges and adventures that highlighted the journey.
Perspectives pieces by the following have been published and more are in preparation.
- Richard Goris
- Marvalee Wake
- Whit Gibbons
- Pat Gregory
- Hal Heatwole
- Eric Pianka
- Martha Crump
- Trevor Beebee
- Rick Shine
Perspectives pieces are archived and can be accessed by members of the Society for the Study or Amphibians and Reptiles here.
If you are not yet a member and would like to become one, click here.