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Re: Dinofest Recollections



On Wed, 27 Dec 2000 07:56:45  
 Brent Jones wrote:
>I was not as impressed. Of course, my reasons for going are probably different 
>than most everybody else's (I was looking for educational materials on 
>paleontology). The skeletons were amazing, the casted skulls were faboo!, and 
>the robotic animals are showing some evolution. I also filled up several rolls 
>of film.
>
>However, I was disappointed that there were not more representatives of the 
>various museums and institutions there to talk to, and very little in the way 
>of informational handouts. I had specifically gotten my museum's permission to 
>go by selling them on the idea that I and my partner were going to pick up 
>ideas about how to get our teenage volunteers to interact with our guests 
>using an exhibit that doesn't move. And, while we did get some information, we 
>did not get nearly the amount of info that I had hoped we would.
>
>As a visual spectacle, I have never seen its equal. As an educational tool, I 
>was entering with the wrong ideas - perhaps because this was my first 
>Dinofest. As disappointed as I was, I will return - hey, I may not have gotten 
>the educational materials I wanted, but I got to see a large numbers of 
>specimens that I had never had a chance to see before!
>
>Overall, I think it deserves a lot of attention.

Sure, I see your disappointment there.  

Of course, as you say, I wasn't going for the purpose of your visit (looking 
for educational materials).  Oddly enough, I did make the comment to my family 
yesterday that I didn't 'learn much of anything new.'  Of course I did, but I 
definitely agree that there was a lack of educational materials.

I figured that this was the case because I visited nearly a month into the 
exhibit.  There were many empty tables and only a few handouts (one from a 
Chinese museum, one from the ISGS, and another from the Western Paleo Labs).  
The brochures for Dinofest say that there are speakers, but there were none 
yesterday.  There were also no representatives from the paleo community, other 
than John Lanzendorf, who was just showing some of his family friends around.  
This is probably due to the fact that it was the day after Christmas, though.  

I liked the exhibit, though, because it was like ten museums in one.  In one 
room were gathered parts of the Great Russian Dinosaur exhibit, Paul Sereno's 
African Giants Jobaria exhibit, the Chinese feathered dinosaur exhibit (which 
as I said before was disappointing), the ISGS' robotic dinosaur exhibit, and 
Qantas' Polar Dinosaur Exhibit.  There must have been some skeletal material 
(mostly casts) of at least 100 different dinosaur species, and likely 75 genera.

But, it was low on education, I must agree.  However, you must remember that 
the exhibit is cut down by some 40-60%, and there was no symposium, art show, 
or gathering of any paleo people this year.  This was also my first Dinofest, 
so maybe I am too cynical in this sense.

Regardless, I really enjoyed the exhibit.  It was a unique chance to see many 
of the world's best and most unusual specimens gathered in one exhibit.  

Steve


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Steve Brusatte-DINO LAND PALEONTOLOGY
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