[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Second Thoughts on Sue

Pieter Depuydt wrote:

>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?

There's a good point here, that I've been bringing up since the announcement
was made that Sotheby's would auction "Sue." That the specimen is invaluable
to the study of theropod dinosaurs is undeniable, and I *am* very happy to
see it going to the FMNH. But, at the same time, it is rather insane, isn't
it? I mean, just *imagine* the jobs that could have been created, the
research that could have been conducted, the *other* invaluable specimens
that could have been collected, the publications and expeditions that might
have been funded, with that 8 million. For vp, that a bloody fortune. And
it's all going to one single specimen. 

But I suspect there's no turning back. Not without powerful legislation that
can be enforced. Vertebrate palaeontologists will now (and, in truth, we have
been for some time) in competition with commercial collectors and private
bidders, as long as we are willing to play the game. It's a hard decision,
whether to let a marvel like "Sue" slip away, possibly forever, or aid in
commercialising our science by attempting to save the specimen.

Caitlin R. Kiernan