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RE: Stegosaurus preparation photos...

Hi all,

Tom Holtz wrote:

"Sometimes, I gotta wonder: do nuclear physicists and geochemists and
microbiologists have this same issue...?"

I don't know about nuclear physicists, but I've been doing alot of digging into archaeology lately (pun intended) and I've noticed the same sort of thing there. Basically, the researchers who are struggling with the system resent it when an amatuer calls themself an 'Archaeologist'. (By the way, note the additional 'a' in there - university in Canada is slowly subverting me).

As for the media (and I'm talking newspaper reporters, not technical writers for science journals), I think they make up titles for people sometimes. My boyfriend, Darren Tanke of the Tyrrell Museum, was in the Calgary Herald twice last Sunday. In one article they called him a 'technologist' and in the other (which was right next to the first one), they called him a 'principal researcher'. His official title is "Technician". However, he has done and continues to do research, has published in Nature and other peer-reviewed journals, and has contributed to the science of palaeontology. I think everyone would agree that he's a 'Palaeontologist' even though he has no degrees (except for upper management at the museum who has kittens whenever he's called that in the newspaper/documentaries/television).

And now back to trying to figure out how to excavate like an archaeologist. I was told that since my site has (unfortunately) a possible human component that I can't 'just yank the bones out of the ground like the paleos'. : )

Patty Ralrick
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada