14 March, 2014

The history of scorpion research in the 20th and 21st centuries

Very old photo showing Louis Fage (seated) and Max Vachon (standing behind him), examining scorpions in the National Museum of Natural History, Paris. Photo published in the newspaper Le Figaro Litteraire on July 19, 1952.

Wilson Lourenco has recently published a very informative article about the history of scorpion research and studies in the 20th and 21st centuries.

This work provides historical context about scorpion studies from the end of the 19th century to the present day. The content is mainly addressed to non-zoologists, working in research fields that embrace scorpion biology, notably to those working with venoms and toxins. The historical aspects described include academic professional scholars who worked on scorpion classification and general distribution patterns; and to a lesser extent, on studies of ecology and natural history. The aim is not to provide an exhaustive description of all scholars who in one way or another became involved with scorpions, but rather of those who greatly contributed during a given period to the research of these organisms. No critical analysis of the work of previous researchers is undertaken, but some comments are proposed to bring clarification on ‘who’s who’. Since a global consensus in relation to classification and/or distribution patterns has not been reached among modern experts, these different approaches are also presented without judgment. Consequently, distinct approaches remain open for discussion.

Lourenco WR. A historical approach to scorpion studies with special reference to the 20th and 21st centuries. J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2014 Mar 11;20(1):8-25. [Free full text]

No comments: