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SVP statement on Dr. Rensberger-Burke Museum

SVP has a statement on its website about the Dr. Rensberger-Burke Museum collection problems:

"The SVP Executive Committee has received the report and recommendations of the Ethics Education Committee regarding allegations concerning Dr. John Rensberger, formerly at the Burke Museum, University of Washington."

"There was some divergence of professional opinion in the reports regarding the first two allegations, but the SVP Ethics Education Committee concluded that the fossil collections resulting from Dr. Rensbergerâs 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."

"Regarding the third allegation, it is clear that on a number of occasions, Dr. Rensberger neglected to obtain proper authorization to conduct paleontological fieldwork on public lands. Failure to obtain proper collecting permits was in violation of both the SVP Ethics Bylaw and the regulations of the public land-management agencies. This omission was inappropriate and undermines the reputation of our profession. If Dr. Rensberger continues to conduct paleontological fieldwork in this manner, the Executive Committee will recommend termination of his membership from the Society, following the procedures outlined in the SVP Bylaws, Article 1, Section 6."

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