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Re: Naming new dinos

endocrin@desktop.com.au (Graeme Worth) introduces himself:

> Having only discovered this dinosaur posting recently I must say it
> is just what I have been looking for. I produce a Dinosaur
> Encyclopedia IBM software program, and trying to keep it updated was
> proving difficult, to say the least.

Well, I for one am glad to have you aboard!  It will be nice to know
that the conversations we have here might help a wider audience.

> As an amateur in the field I'm impressed by the qualifications of
> many correspondents - what has occured to me, though, is why aren't
> there more of the professionals online?

It's ironic that you ask that now...  Many of you will be saddened to
learn that we've recently lost Ralph Chapman and Jerry Harris.
Graeme, there are probably a lot more professionals who are aware of
this list than subscribe to it, and there are definitely more that
subscribe to it than actively participate in it.  I think the main
reason for both is that research is an incredibly time-consuming
occupation, and few have the heart, soul and temperament to deal with
both an active research life and the public service that participation
on this list generally represents for them.

Now soapbox time...  If you've been here for over a month then you've
seen that I occasionally try to be a wet blanket about certain topics.
The reason I do that is that I want to keep the group focussed enough
that everyone involved will consider it worthwhile.  Please keep that
in mind whenever you're thinking about submitting something to the
whole list.

Still on the soapbox, another reason that professionals shy away from
the list is a perception (accurate or not) that a majority of the
participants here are more concerned about fossils as private property
than as a part of our heritage that should be preserved and conserved.
It's to be expected that this topic will generate a lot of heat, but
when people feel like there are a lot more flamethrowers aimed at them
than away from them, they tend to retreat.  Please also keep that in
mind when you're thinking about submitting something to the list.  And
to the person who ignored the list's welcome message and "advertised"
for a fossil merchant, consider yourself whipped :-j

Ok, I'm trying to carry on an active research life myself, so I have
to go back to work.  Carry on everyone...

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