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Re: Kirkaldy and SVP Ethics Statement

----- Original Message -----
From: <MKIRKALDY@aol.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, November 21, 2000 11:00 AM
Subject: Re: Bambiraptor (comment on Brochu's comments)

> Some of the folks who are arguing that the collection of fossils rather
> 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
> one has to sign the membership application, agreeing "to abide by the
> of Vertebrate Paleontology's Ethics Statement provided below."
> I have reproduced that statement below...
> Mary
> mkirkaldy@aol.com
> ____
> By-Law on Ethics
> Article 9. Statement of Ethics...

This "Bambiraptor (comment on Brochu's comments)" thread went off on a
tangent.  Regardless, I will add one more bit related to its original

Regarding Mary's comment:  I fully support the Ethics Statement and its
goals.  Note the following section within the statement:

> Information about vertebrate fossils and their accompanying data should be
> disseminated expeditiously to both scientific community and interested
> general public.

That section refers to "vertebrate fossils", not "only vertebrate fossils
collected by trained museum personnel", not "only vertebrate fossils in
museum collections", not "politically-correct vertebrate fossils", but just
"vertebrate fossils."  It seems that the society, which rightly views
vertebrate fossils as part of our national heritage(s), is working against
itself by prohibiting the publication of papers on specimens in private
hands (=politically-incorrect fossils), thereby preventing the expeditious
dissemination of information about those fossils.  Specimens legally held in
private hands are no less a part of our national heritage than those in
museums, and if they carry scientific information, that information should
be disseminated.  Manuscripts should not be rejected simply because the
specimens are not in a museum, rather manuscripts should be evaluated on
their merits.


P.S.  The dinosaur was delicious!

S. Christopher Bennett, Ph.D.
Asst. Prof. of Basic Sciences
College of Chiropractic
University of Bridgeport
Bridgeport, CT  06601-2449