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Re: SVP statement on Dr. Rensberger-Burke Museum

But his illegal collecting DID personally benefit him. Certainly anyone who is making fossils available to the science community is going to be viewed as a value or asset to that community. Just because he did not accept an actual paycheck does not mean he didn't benefit.

His income, no matter where it came from, is going to be impacted by his "perceived value" to those who pay him or give him his grants. That "value" is based on what he did for Paleontology. So the idea that did not benefit from his illegal activity because he didn't get a check handed to him for a specific fossil is, in my opinion, wrong.

If we look for reasons to excuse what he did, then shouldn't we applaud the private collectors for their impact on the economy?


From: Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: SVP statement on Dr. Rensberger-Burke Museum
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 12:48:20 -0500

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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