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RE: Save Hayashibara Museum (Update + Second push)

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Subject: RE: Save Hayashibara Museum (Update + Second push)
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2011 19:25:45 -0600
From: "Shimada, Kenshu" <KSHIMADA@depaul.edu>
To: "vrtpaleo@usc.edu" <VRTPALEO@usc.edu>, <dinosaur@usc.edu>,
Cc: <wmahito@pop16.odn.ne.jp>, <moldavicum@pa2.so-net.ne.jp>

Hi everyone,

Because I sent my previous message in rather poor timing (Friday late
afternoon in the U.S.), I am here making another pitch to everyone on
this list to help saving the Hayashibara Museum as we dive into a new
week that is critical to the fate of the museum (i.e., potential
'judgment day' being this Thursday).

Soon after I posted my initial message on this list, approximately 25
foreign (i.e., non-Japanese) researchers responded by sending in their
supporting letters (THANK YOU!!--I should note that the SVP has also
responded).  Most of them were internationally renowned dinosaur
researchers, but my take is that this is far from enough to convince
the Hayashibara administration that the museum is worth saving.  I
believe we need more letters (preferably 100s) from a wide range of
people to let the administration know that this is not only the
concern of a small group of experts.  Many Japanese organizations,
including the Hayashibara Group, are generally quite keen to
'international pressure,' and making the administration aware of the
significance of the museum by people outside of Japan may be quite
effective to make the Hayashibara Group reconsider the situation.
Even if the group decides to close the museum (hope not though), your
supporting letters should give leverage to Japanese paleontologists to
seek for an alternative specimen repository.  I hope we can save the
museum and its staff, but the bottom-line is that we must save its
collections, particularly all Mongolian specimens and any other
described and scientifically significant specimens.

Some of you may wonder whether or not writing a letter is worth an
effort.  My answer is YES!  Some of you may remember but we (many on
this list) did in fact help saving some museums/organizations in the
past 10 years or so by writing supporting letters, such as the Museum
für Naturkunde in Berlin, Nebraska Sate Museum, the Department of
Geological Sciences of Michigan State University, and to a certain
extent, the Geology Museum of the University of Wyoming.  Besides all
professional paleontologists (including my 'marine vertebrate
colleagues'--hint, hint), I particularly encourage all students on
this list (regardless of your taxonomic interests) to also take a
moment to write and send a letter even if you have no direct ties to
the museum or its staff (You are free to simply paraphrase my letter
below and send it as a simple e-mail text to Dr. Watabe).  Fewer
paleontological institutions mean fewer potential jobs, and note that
closing of a museum with a large number of professionals will increase
the competition in the already tight job market.  In addition, it is
also important to remember that, in this instance, it took many years
for paleontologists to build the trust of the Mongolian government to
run collaborative studies (this would also include the American Museum
of Natural History), and we as a paleontological community must make
every effort not to break that trust.

Please see my previous messages below if you are willing to help.
Thank you for reading, and thank you in advance for your help on
behalf of 'our' colleagues.