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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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