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The Padian paper was well-written, but somewhat misleading. Here are some
> >From Kevin Padian's paper, "Feathers, Fakes, and Fossil Dealers: How
> the Commercial Sale of Fossils Erodes Science and Education" at
"Consider the case of the Tyrannosaurus named "Sue," bought at
auction by the Disney and McDonald's for Chicago's Field Museum at a price
of more than eight million dollars, after a long court fight and an extended
jail term for the commercial collector who thought he had purchased the
specimen from the owner of the land"
> The commercial collector's jail term was totally unrelated to Sue. Sue
> was merely the catalyst in the long court battle.
"Extended jail term" sounds like a life sentence. Padian needs to
check his sources. The jail term was not 'extended'.
Padian then sets the stage for a wonderful Catch 22. His statements
are conflicting and disturbing:
"There's a growing movement to recommend that all scientific
journals reject out-of-hand manuscripts based on commercially collected
specimens that are in private hands."
Then he states:
"Commercial collectors seldom publish scientific papers."
Interesting observations. Of course, how could a commercial
collector publish a scientific paper if all of their work was systematically
rejected outright by scientific journals??!!
I am not taking sides. I merely wish to point out there are two
sides to a story but it seems the 'professionals' want only their viewpoints
heard in the scientific journals regardless of the expertise of the 'evil'
commercial collector. I would hope the academic community realizes that
without the amateur and commercial collectors, the museums would be vast
halls of space with few specimens. I would also like to know at some point
how the many tons of neglected jacketed material collected almost 100 years
ago, buried in the museum storage vaults serves the public good. How many
new species are waiting their turn to be found by simply opening up one of
these old jackets? Time for one group to stop lambasting the private
collectors and dealers and look within at their own practices. Might open
their eyes a bit.