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Re: fossil collecting - a UK perspective.
The Natural History Museum in London says its fixed
annual budget for buying all its science specimens is
Can this really be true? Less than the salary of one PR person?
Sure. Museum budgets are generally ridiculous; that's why most of the
Carnegie *Diplodocus* casts in the world have never been touched since they
were first mounted (drooping tail, toes copied and used as fingers, spread
metacarpals...). All halfway expensive specimens for the museum in Vienna
are bought by the Association of Friends of the Natural History Museum, and
that means one per year.
I smell a vicious circle. Scientists aren't a large enough percentage of the
voting public to do something about the financing of science. Therefore the
museums are half as good as they could be. Therefore half as many people
(children especially) are drawn to science as could be. Therefore scientists
aren't a large enough percentage of the voting public to do something about
the financing of science...