James Mahaffy mahaffy at
Fri Feb 24 22:47:20 EST 1995

David Kristofferson (kristoff at wrote:
: >that I'm a Real Scientist, and I wouldn't respect anyone who went in for
: >this. The ATCC may want people to have an affiliation, but they are 
: >sending potentially dangerous organism through the mail. Bionet is an
: >informational forum.

: Although I think that the use of the word "idiotic" is a bit too
: strong, thanks for your comments on the above.  I'd like to hear from
: others on this.  The motive is to restrict the newsgroups to use by
: professionals while leaving some groups like bionet.general open for
: general use.  Also remember that there are other lay person groups
: like for open discussions.  While I realize that net gurus
: like DanZ might not appreciate such a move, I'm not sure this feeling
: is shared by users who don't spend as much time on the net and want to

While I agree with Dave K,. that some groups have too many High School
or college student
 qquestions, I think it would be mistake to restrict posting to
a group of researchers at major Universities.  In my case, the net has
brought contacts I do not readily have.  I actually got started because
I wanted to do research out of my area and knew there was a technical
group that gave me the technical information on instrumentation to do
the job.  I wasn't a professional in the area so under Dave's proposed
limits would not have been able to post. 

I also follow the parasitology list, again not an area of research, but
it provides some good information that I use in teaching Zoology.
Occasionally I have posted (for information not available in the
general parasitology text).  Should someone like me, be cut off from
posting just because I am not doing research in a specialized area of

A lot of the talk among the "professionals (whoever that may be)" is
often more like coffee chat.  If you could get folks to first look in
the library and think before they would post you would solve most of the
problem.  But I HAVE NO IDEA HOW YOU COULD DO THAT.   I have used the
net to do some serious research and it has helped my teaching - yet I
get the feeling that folks in smaller colleges with a large teaching
mission would be put in a non elitist grouping. iiies.  
James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy at
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250

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