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Re: Stegosaurus preparation photos take two...



Dear Tom and List,

    Hey! how did I get demoted to just " artist " when Dan and Luis were
able to retain their "Paleo" titles?

Palace revolt Cliff


> Varner (paleoartist) 7 posts
> Schmidt (fossil dealer) 3 posts
> Hartman (graduate student in vertebrate paleontology) 2 posts (1 sent
multiple times)
> Ohmes (?) 2 posts
> Simon (?) 2 posts
> Holtz (professional paleontologist) 1 post (okay, now 2 posts)
> Cliff Green (artist) 1 post
> Hirvela (?) 1 post
> Dykes (amateur paleo-bookkeeper) 1 post
> ReBecca Hunt (graduate student in vertebrate paleontology) 1 post
> Rey (paleoartist) 1 post
> Williams (professional paleontologist) 1 post
> Pharris (graduate student in linguistics) 1 post
> John Hunt (?) 1 post
>
> Tim Williams and I are the only two professional degreed paleos (as far as
I could see with my admittedly hurried glance) who have
> posted on these threads. And I made it very clear in my posting that
plenty of actual paleontologists (i.e., people who do
> paleontology, which is a science) do not actually have degrees. So long as
they are doing science, they are scientists, degree or
> not.
>
> And yet time and time again people who don't actually do science (see
earlier posting for definition) are introduced on talk shows
> and such as "paleontologists". Well, no, they aren't. Sorry if that makes
some people feel bad, but I'm not in the "make people feel
> good business"; I'm a scientist.
>
> Science cannot get done without a lot of help. We need administrators to
run institutions and help find funding; preparators to
> clean the specimens (although they may also be researchers in their own
right: see below); artists to illustrate them; editors and
> publishers to run the journals; and most importantly of all, field workers
to help collect the specimens. (And, at some places,
> graduate students to do all the work...) But the administrators, editors,
and publishers don't claim to be paleontologists, and
> those preparators who aren't interested in research are happy to call
themselves preparators. Graduate students rightly and fairly
> call themselves paleontologists in training, as already stated on this
list and in stark contrast to Frank's assertion that the
> professionals somehow believe that paleos are born fully formed ex nihilo.
>
> Sometimes, I gotta wonder: do nuclear physicists and geochemists and
microbiologists have this same issue...?
>
> Incidentally, what does Horner have to say about the issue of
preparators-as-scientists? Let's see... oh, here it is! _Digging
> Dinosaurs_, p. 22 [talking about his days at Princeton]:
> "A preparator's lot can vary greatly depending on his boss. He may be only
a backroom technician, a hired hand with no say in the
> research. Or he may work as a junior partner in the research,
collaborating with his boss rather than just scubbing clean the
> summer's haul of femurs and tibias. My situation was probably the best a
preparator could hope for. My boss, Don Baird, and I worked
> together on several research projects."
>
> Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Vertebrate Paleontologist
> Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
> University of Maryland College Park Scholars
> Mailing Address:
> Building 237, Room 1117
> College Park, MD  20742
>
> http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
> http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
> Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: tholtz@geol.umd.edu
> Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796
>