Everybody loves natural history. Everybody thinks that we should value natural history more (well, almost everybody), and find a way to value descriptive field biology more in our academic rewards system. I would bet there are more ecologists who hate puppies than ecologists who think that natural history is valued adequately.
Though nearly all of us agree that natural history need to be valued more, if you look at the way we publish and cite and hire and tenure and promote and award scientists, well, we pretty much aren’t valuing it.
We want it to be valued because we all benefit from it. But we all are reluctant to do and publish much of it because we aren’t getting credit for it.
Source: Natural history, synthesis papers and the academic caste system | Small Pond Science