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Sereno's work & public appeal
Paul Sereno has an extraordinary gift of being able to balance an
ambitious, and very successful campaign of scientific discovery, generating
public interest, and the timely release of his discoveries to both the
public and the scientific community. I think some of his nomenclatural
practices are awful, but overall he seems to be one of the best things that
has happened to vertebrate paleontology in the past decade or so. Novacek
and Norell do it very well, but Sereno appears to be taking it to the next
level and doing an extraordinary job.
I think he should be emulated in his careful, but timely release of
scientific information. This is obviously a very efficient and effective
way of doing things, speeds up the process in a responsible way, and avoids
the frustration and unpleasantness that surround discoveries like Protoavis.
Public interest and support are crucial to continued funding endeavors.
Sereno seems to be doing for vertebrate paleontology what Simon Conway
Morris has done for invertebrate paleontology (and what Thomas
Cavalier-Smith is more quietly doing for the study of protists and
bacteria). I sometimes disagree with some of their conclusions, but overall
these are three giants in the field of systematics, and I very highly
recommend their work.
------ Ken Kinman
Thomas R. Holtz wrote:
A report about Sereno's press conference at the AAAS meeting.
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