One of the preconference workshops was a 5 day intensive course on the Philosophy of Biological Systematics.
It was run by Dr Kirk Fitzhugh of the Los Angeles County Museum and was well attended with 16 students or researchers from both Australia and overseas. While some of these delegates are staying on to attend the polychaete conference others are not.
The workshop was funded by the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) and the Director of ABRS Michael Preece opened the workshop on Monday 29th July.
One of the participants mentioned to me as we adjourned on the Friday night to the Lord Roberts for a much deserved drink that she had learnt so much as she had never heard of any other similar course being held in Australia. She really enjoyed the philosophy of science parts of the course and she was surprised that not more students had signed up to it.
Kirk will be sending a copy of his presentation to all participants and has encouraged them to continue conversing with him.
It was very appropriate that the course was held at the Australian Museum and we thank ABRS very much for agreeing to sponsor this course in this their 40th anniversary. I am sure many of the delegates will now think far more carefully about which programs to use in their analyses of phylogenetic data.