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Re: Sereno et al. and African

rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu (Mickey Rowe) wrote: 

>Second, Eric Buffetaut and Gilles Cuny argue that Sereno et al. argued
>too strongly about the novelty of some of their findings, and also
>that the still unnamed sauropod should be referred to _Rebbachisaurus
>tamesnensis_.  Sereno et al. don't give in so easily on these points,
>and on the latter go so far as to claim that new genus and species
>names must be coined for their sauropod.

I watched the documentary on Sereno's expedition to Niger on "The New
Explorers" last year, and I recall that Sereno was under enormous pressure
to keep the project on track, within budget, within time limits, to keep
from getting killed in a civil war, and to return with fossil material.  In
fact, most of the documentary dealt more with Paul's "angst" than with science. 
Under the working conditions that the team had to endure, and the fact that
future funding to Sereno by the NSF, Nat. Geographic, etc., rests primarily on
"producing product" from his current Niger project, it shouldn't be surprizing 
that (unfortunately) a little hype may creep into the scientific write-ups.
But for such a young guy, Sereno has been extremely prolific and influential in
the study of the basal dinosauria.  Most of his numerous papers have been
accepted as authoritative and as benchmarks, with little or no little hype. 

>Also, page 1763 contains a brief account, written by Antonio Regalado,
>of the conclusion of the BHI criminal proceedings.  There wasn't much
>there that you didn't already hear here, but there were two things I
>thought I'd bring up.  One is that (perhaps in a bit of face-saving
>grandiloquence?) U.S. Attorney David Zuercher claimed that for the
>infractions for which the group was found guilty, "It is likely that
>.. they will go to jail."  The other is that, in an opinion that
>doesn't seem to have been aired much around here, the article claims
>that "academic paleontologists" hope that the verdicts will "rein
>collectors in".  Mind you that I'm only interested in raising this
>issue in the hopes of fostering collaboration and understanding by all
>parties concerned.  I don't want to see any flames erupting over what
>is clearly a volatile issue.  But I do think this list can help to
>form bridges between people that might otherwise see themselves as
>opponents.  Any brave souls want to chime in with their thoughts of
>the significance of the trial's outcome?

  There are two bills that will go before the U.S. congress, possibly in the
next congress.  One is a pro-commercial bill; the other is more of 
an anti-commercial bill.  Non-commercial amateurs are also dealt with in
both bills.  If someone has these bills in electronic format,
would it be possible for them to post both versions here?  If I am not
mistaken, government documents, such as proposed bills, are not copyrighted,
so there should be no problem posting them.  I think this group could
be valuable in providing feedback, as both bills are still being drafted.
Any takers on posting these bills?