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Re: Second Thoughts on Sue

Matt Wedel wrote:

> When I heard about the Field Museum getting Sue, my initial reaction 
> was one of great relief and satisfaction. 
> But.
> There are several things that worry me.  One is that the statement, 
> "You can't attach a dollar value to scientifically important 
> specimens," is out the window.  Now, we can debate about who said 
> that, or would say it, or to what extent it was true, but the fact 
> remains that a major American museum has set a seven-million-plus 
> figure as the going rate on tyrannosaurs.  That worries me for 
> three reasons:  first, that a "going rate" can be assessed for things 
> like this, second, that that rate was so high, and third, that a 
> museum set the precendent.
> Here's my point:  museums, by and large, just can't afford to fork out 
> that kind of money.  I'm worried that an exceptional, heroic effort 
> by the Field Museum and the other contributing interests will be 
> taken by some to be business as usual.
> Also, I work in a museum, and we get enough crackpots trying to 
> offload their worn sandstone "dinosaur bones" and concretion "eggs."  
> I can just imagine the sort of crap that every museum in the country 
> will probably have to put up with on a regular basis, now that people 
> know that *museums* will pay millions.

I followed the Sue trial from overseas, remote Europe.
Well I personally think Matt made quite a point.

Another stuff for thinking:
If you had a budget of  >8million$ and were asked to 
choose: 'rescue' Sue or create a lot of reasonably paid paleontology 
fellowship/postdoc/research positions, from which choice paleontology 
as a science would benefit most.....?
Isn't there quite a discepancy between the commercial value of some 
spectacular fossils and the professional future prospects of the 
people who dedicate their life studying them?

Just a personal modest opinion from a non-professional

Pieter Depuydt