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fossil publicity (was: Second Thoughts on Sue)

On Tue, 7 Oct 1997 20:35:06 -0400 Jeff Hecht  writes:
>What I worry about is the bad example up in Montana,

Right on target.  This is the bad side of all the attention Sue garnered
for vp.  However, let us not forget that there is a good side, as well. 
As some of the people most interested in the subject, it is up to us to
try to educate the public on the issues:  
1.  How the context of fossils is often as important, scientifically, as
the fossil itself.
2.  How much damage can be done if care is not taken in documenting and
actual extraction.
3.  Exactly what is meant by  "care"  in the above two contexts.
4.  How exceptional the sale of  Sue actually was, and therefore, museums
are not just going to pay for any old piece of bone or eggshell someone
happened to find, EVEN IF such a find is well documented  (in the
scientific sense).

With the attention that Sue got for us, now is the time to put these
thoughts into action-particularly those of us who are dino educators, but
There are several things we can do directly or indirectly:
1.  Talk to your friends who might be passingly interested-they might
become more interested.
2.  If you can afford it, buy one of the reference books recently
mentioned on the excellent lists posted recently to the DML.  Donate it
to your local library.  If you can't afford it, pester your library to
acquire it  (I'm taking this route with Don Glut's latest work).
3.  Promote the idea of  "International Dinosaur Month"  as proposed by
the DIG people.
4.  Bug your  local elected offical to recognize a state/county/local
fossil-then tell the school system in your area.
5.  Find out all you can about the proper care and feeding of fossils,
and give al talk at your local school or ibrary  (this is close to
becomming a dino educator)
6.  Dress up as a dinosaur for Holloween  (I do it every year).
 All for now

Democracy is the system of government where people get what they deserve.