Species: a history of the idea

Today I got my manuscript off to the publisher. Heaven knows what the editors will do with it; I expect a sympathetic treatment as the publisher's editorial board are quite keen. But it's like having a ten year boil lanced. And seeing a favourite child graduate. All at once.

So it remains for me to thank the enormous number of people who have helped me do this book. Nobody could have done it alone. I am amazed and heartened by the fact that no matter how much disagreement I may have with the various people involved in the species debate, they are all hell of a nice lot of guys and gals. None of them have turned out to be un-nice people, which goes right against all experience and reputation of academic debates, particularly in this field of taxonomy.

I will start with the two people who helped it get to press: Malte Ebach and Quentin Wheeler. Many thanks for soliciting it as part of their new series on species. Then I must thank my advisors, Neil Thomason and Gareth Nelson for helping me even get to PhD stage with this project. And finally, David Hull, Paul Griffiths and Kim Sterelny, who have aided my career in many ways. The rest, in alphabetical order, underneath the fold.

Noelie Alito, Scott Chase, Joel Cracraft, Michael Devitt , Mike Dunford, Malte Ebach, Greg Edgcombe, Dan Faith, Michael Ghiselin, Paul Griffiths, Colin Groves, John Harshman, Jody Hey, Jon Hodge, David Hull, Jon Kaplan, Mike S.-Y. Lee, Murray Littlejohn, Brent Mishler, Larry Moran, Staffan Müller-Wille, Ian Musgrave, Gary Nelson, Mike Norén, Gordon McOuat, Massimo Pigliucci, Norman Platnick, Tom Scharle, Kim Sterelny, Neil Thomason, Charissa Varma, John Veron, Quentin Wheeler, Ward Wheeler, David Williams, Robin Wilson; Polly Winsor

and all the folks at talk.origins and Talkorigins.org.

And anyone else I have forgotten... [let me know in the comments or by email]

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Review copy?

You are kept in good company with all those names up there, I'm sure they kept you on track. Looking forward to seeing the finished product!

Add me to the list of people looking forward to this one. Seeing you and Chad making so much progress reminds me that I need to work hard to get my Huxley chapter finished within the next week and then finish my the chapters on birds, whales, horses, and humans for my book by the end of August (no actual deadline, just a self-imposed one).

I'm sure your book is going to be great, though, and like everyone else I'll be excited to see the finished product.

Just a short question John, did you keep a count of the number of puns and other word play contained in the manuscript?

It is one thing to read a number of books, being an avid reader is quite cool, but to write a book is quite another thing altogether. All I can say is, look out Michael Crichton.

What do you mean it isn't a work of fiction?


OK then, Look out Alfred Einstein!

Now that your book is finished, what are you going to do with all that extra time?

Congrats John.

By Gary Bohn (not verified) on 21 Jul 2008 #permalink

Congratulations John.

I've always wanted to know what a species is.

By John Monfries (not verified) on 21 Jul 2008 #permalink

Sounds a bit like an Oscar speech! :-)

I'll shout you a thickshake to celebrate.