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>From HP Brochu:
<If it doesn't go to a museum, it might as well have not been collected, as
far as science is concerned.>
<And since most reputable journals (including JVP and Jour. Paleo.) will not
accept for publication papers describing privately-held material, such
specimens are essentially unpublishable.>
<In fact, having them end up in disreputable hands is no different from
having them rot in the field.>
I'm not arguing anything here.
But my immediate reaction is surprise at statements that could be summarized
Specimens might better disappear than be collected for private sale.
Any privately-held specimen should be ignored, not studied for publication.
People who gather specimens for private possession should be subject to
penalty, as is the existing law in many places.
When you think about something you appreciate and care about, the first
reaction is to accept unavoidable restraints for whatever value you can get.
I'm thinking about the archeologists who get a chance to study a site before
a building or a road is completed. When cooperation is prompt and efficient
the material is usually not quietly discarded to avoid delay, I hope.
If commercial collectors are subject to a simple threat of arrest and
confiscation, how helpful will they be? If private sale prevents
publication, why should they bother documenting their dig, when at best it
will constitute evidence?
Given that the resources of museums and helpful amateurs are insufficient to
gather all fossils, you seem to be arguing that things you value should be
sacrificed. I'd appreciate an explication of why compromise is and should
That's the part I'm having trouble with.