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Re: SVP statement on Dr. Rensberger-Burke Museum
yes. agreed! but how many private collectors have been prosecuted for doing
the same thing? I know of commercial/private collectors that have either by
sale or donation made available illegally collected/exported materials to
institutions, and it has not prohibited any legal acion against them. And
while some of these materials were known to have had legal issues before
being sold or donated, the vast majority of them were sold or donated in
good faith, and thought to be 100% legal.
My point is the laws are there for a reason. All this man had to do was
apply for the permits. As I understand it, he simply didn't, and there is
no way that he didn't understand that what he was doing was illegal. And
not just once did he break the law, apparntly he did so DOZENS of times.
If I walked into a grocery store and stole food for myself, I will be
prosecuted. If I turned around and took that stolen food and donated it to
the food bank, I don't doubt that I would still be prosecuted.
So, if this man knowingly broke the law on multiple occasions, for no other
reasons than laziness or possibly ego, why should he be above the law in
being made responsible? regardless of his intentions?
Good intentions are no excuse for knowingly and repeatedly breaking the law.
If he is not prosecuted, it simply creates the impression that the laws are
there for some, but not for others.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Williams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 11:48 AM
Subject: Re: SVP statement on Dr. Rensberger-Burke Museum
Michael Schmidt wrote:
The lack of interest, Bob, I believe is simply embarassment on belalf of
the academic community.
Maybe, maybe not. It may have something to do with this...
"...but the SVP Ethics Education Committee concluded that the fossil
collections resulting from Dr.
Rensberger's fieldwork are properly deposited in a public institution (the
Burke Museum) and have
been well curated by Dr. Rensberger and the current curatorial staff of
the Burke Museum."
Which, to me, says that these discoveries were not for personal monetary
gain, and the specimens in question were/are available to science. These
discoveries remain "properly deposited in a public institution", rather
than gathering dust in a private collection or ending up on eBay. That
counts for a lot in my book. I shudder to think how many invaluable
fossil discoveries never get to see the light of day because the
collector(s) sell their collections privately for a fast buck, or keep
them stashed under the porch.
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