maize newsgroup

Tony Travis ajt at
Tue Aug 25 12:22:10 EST 1992

In article <92725155621.MIN-LHQAa26691.bionet-news at> you write:
:     I recognize the concerns of those who think the creation of a newgroup
: ought to be justified by the amount of traffic on an existing newgroup first.
: Likewise, I would not like to see the proliferation of underused newsgroups
: clutter the e-waves.  However, maize is not some fringe subject, and I think
: the establishment of the newsgroup should go forward for several reasons:

Maize is an important subject to *you* (and me as a matter of interest)
but I suspect it is a 'fringe' subject to many readers of bionet.

: 1) The rules for establishing the newgroup don't seem to include a 
:    a requirement for previous discussion.  It focuses on who *would* use the
:    newgroup, not the volume of people who *have* used it.  There are probably

Isn't the purpose of voting to indicate if you *would* use a new group?

I don't think the name of a group is particularly important myself
provided the intended subscribers can quickly locate the discussion
they are interested in.

What *is* important is that we use it to dicsuss scientific issues of
mutual interest and we can begin that process in bionet.general (which
is the 'traditional' place for discussions that don't have a group) or
bionet.plants which seems like a more logical place to begin.

:    good reasons for this, as I can see.  I work with many people who work with
:    corn, and corn only.  Whether you think this sort of specialization good or
:    bad is another issue, but in my opinion, many of these people will never
:    really be interested in something like "bionet.plants".  They just wouldn't
:    want to wade through all the other "stuff."  In contrast, I think it is 
:    very likely that they will participate in a maize newgroup, and would make
:    it a lot easier for me to interest them in at least considering 
:    participating.

Maybe you could interest them in a good newsreader so they don't have
to 'wade' ??

I can see that bionet.arabidopsis, for example, is primarily a
molecular biology group and bionet.plants was proposed to open up the
discussion to other aspects of plant biology.  We discussed the
sub-division of bionet.plants when it was created and I believe that
bionet.plants.maize would be a good idea if the traffic warrants it.

: 2) Many plant biologists work on important topics, and can choose from many
:    crops as subjects.  For example, if you are studying photosynthesis, you 
:    can work on anything from apples to zinnias, depending on which species 
:    best serves your purpose. However, there are those who specialize in a crop,
:    not on an area of physiology, anatomy, etc.  Corn happends to be such a
:    crop.  We have corn breeders, corn physiologists, corn pathologists, as 
:    well as millers, food scientists, biochemists (heck, even ethanol people)
:    etc. who work with nothing but corn.  Many of these people would become
:    active participants in a maize newsgroup, if there was one.

I don't see that anyone who is genuinely interested in scientific
discussion would be put off by the name of the group in which the
discussion was taking place.  The existence of a suitably named news
group is not a prerequisite to starting a discussion is it?

I'm interested in the methods you are using to investigate maize
anatomy BTW, so how about starting a thread in bionet.plants telling us
about the work you do??

: 3) Corn is a highly international topic, and is appropriate for a newsgroup
:    with world wide discussion.  It may even prompt institutions, and even whole
:    countries, to make an effort to get on the net which never showed any 
:    interest before. If nothing else, it might provide the justification to put
:    together the necessary computer hardware, as for some countries, corn is a 
:    vital staple.

Exactly the same arguments can be made about *many* subjects: just
substitute other topics for the word "corn" in your 3) and you will see
what I mean.

:    My argument is simple: the rules specify a minimum number of votes to
:    start the group, and I think the votes will be there.  Further, I believe
:    the existance of the group will stimulate participation, and I am glad
:    to see this has been initiated.  For those of you who deplore 
:    specialization, think of this:  if somebody is so tunnel visioned that
:    they can't see past their own specialty, hand them something like their
:    own newsgroup to get them on the network-maybe then they will discover
:    how much else there is available which may be equally as interesting.
:    For those specialists which are not particularly tunnel visioned, they
:    might just become active users of many other existing newgroups, even
:    bionet.plants, which they might never have ever discovered had there 
:    been no bionet.maize to get them started!   

You are free to do what you like with bionet.plants, so why not get
them started there?  Maize is a plant isn't it?

:    I say GOFORIT!
:    -DmG  Iowa State University Corn Breeding Computer Room

I say you've already got it - just use it!


Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  Tony Travis
Rowett Research Institute,            |  JANET: <ajt at>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  other: <ajt at>
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |  phone: 0224-712751

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