In Chapter 2 we documented how the introduction of DNA barcoding brought with it a flurry of excitement and irritation within taxonomic circles. One potential of the phenomenon which few taxonomists could refute however was the power of DNA barcoding as an idea, which carried both rhetorical and practical force. The lure of the roll-call one gene = all species = all life proved potent due to its sheer simplicity. This had a range of interlocking ramifications. First, the DNA barcoding vision had the effect of seeming to reduce the immensity and complexity of the planet’s biodiversity – something that is just ‘too big for your brain’ into a manageable and knowable array of natural organisms.1 Second, as a renowned plant systematist at London’s NHM stated, the mission to barcode all life using a universal identifier at least had the potential to provide the fractured global community of taxonomists with a unity they had lacked for 300 years.2 Third, at the same time, BOLI researchers also promoted the idea of the DNA barcode as a much needed ‘organizing principle’ set to clean up and standardize the idiosyncratic data management practices of both taxonomy and the fecund, datarich world of genomics.3 Fourth, it was imagined that the simplicity of barcoding techniques and analysis meant that barcoding could be put to use in practical user domains such as pest control, the regulation of trafficked species, and ecological protection where life stages or body parts may require quick and reliable, repeat identification (DeSalle and Birstein 1996; Rubinoff et al. 2006). Fifth, the idea of barcoding species was regarded as something that might draw in mass popular appeal: barcoders imagined that the simple differentiation and representation of species, coupled to the Linnaean binomial system and graphically represented on the World Wide Web would have the effect of re-connecting human beings, all over the world, with a nature they had hitherto tended to neglect (Janzen 2004b).4