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Re: Bambiraptor (comment on Brochu's comments)
Some of the folks who are arguing that the collection of fossils rather than
the studying is the important part, might want to (re)read the Society of
Vertebrate Paleontology's (http://www.vertpaleo.org) Statement of Ethics
(http://www.vertpaleo.org/policy/ethics.html). In order to join the Society,
one has to sign the membership application, agreeing "to abide by the Society
of Vertebrate Paleontology's Ethics Statement provided below."
I have reproduced that statement below, which reiterates point by point what
Chris Brochu has been saying.
By-Law on Ethics
Article 9. Statement of Ethics.
Several goals for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology follow from its
mission statement (Constitution Article 1): to discover, conserve, and
protect vertebrate fossils and to foster the scientific, educational, and
personal appreciation and understanding of them by amateur, student and
professional paleontologists, as well as the general public. Fossil
vertebrates are usually unique or rare, nonrenewable scientific and
educational resources that, along with their accompanying contextual data,
constitute part of our natural heritage. They provide data by which the
history of vertebrate life on earth may be reconstructed and are one of the
primary means of studying evolutionary patterns and processes as well as
It is the responsibility of vertebrate paleontologists to strive to ensure
that vertebrate fossils are collected in a professional manner, which
includes the detailed recording of pe rtinent contextual data (e.g.
geographic, stratigraphic, sedimentologic, taphonomic).
It is the responsibility of vertebrate paleontologists to assist government
agencies in the development of management policies and regulations pertinent
to the collection of vertebrate fossils, and to comply with those policies
and regulations during and after collection. Necessary permits on all lands
administered by federal, state, and local governments, whether domestic or
foreign, must be obtained from the appropriate agency(ies) before fossil
vertebrates are collected. Collecting fossils on private lands must only be
done with the landowner's consent.
Fossil vertebrate specimens should be prepared by, or under the supervision
of, trained personnel.
Scientifically significant fossil vertebrate specimens, along with ancillary
data, should be curated and accessioned in the collections of repositories
charged in perpetuity with con serving fossil vertebrates for scientific
study and education (e.g. accredited museums, universities, colleges, and
other educational institutions).
Information about vertebrate fossils and their accompanying data should be
disseminated expeditiously to both scientific community and interested
The barter, sale, or purchase of scientifically significant vertebrate
fossils is not condoned unless it brings them into, or keeps them within, a
public trust. Any other trade or commerce in scientifically significant
vertebrate fossils is inconsistent with the foregoing, in that it deprives
both the public and professionals of important specimens, which are part of
our natural heritage.