A variety of challenges to biodiversity and biosystematics research are discussed. Despite escalating estimates of the biodiversity of the planet, resources being devoted to advance this knowledge have been in decline. Despite the proliferation of information technologies, the focus of knowledge has frequently shifted to making information readily available, rather than generating new information. The principles of authorial responsibility and of explicit documentation of knowledge are under siege. The shortfall of investment in training, research, and collections management (the ''taxonomic deficit'') has lead to a ''taxonomic impediment'' to ecological research, at a time when rates of extinction appear to be rising dramatically. The contents of present volume represent stepping-stones of biodiversity research – a discipline vital to the future of life on the planet.