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RE: The myth of coding from specimens firsthand and the untapped resource of photos

  False dichotomy. Either or, the institutions pay. Grants for researchers are 
granted, specifically, based on a small group or an individual, not an entire 
museum, and when the latter MIGHT occur (as in the Smithsonian) it must share 
this with a variety of other groups, rather than pay for the technology to 
photograph things. Then you'd have to pay for their time, and the processing, 
etc. It's not about everyone in a museum getting their cell phones and taking 
pictures, then sharing them; you also have to train people HOW to take 
pictures, HOW to process the digital or film copies, and the time involved. Or 
... you can do it yourself on a travel grant. Time, effort and money must be 
expended and in largely equal shares. You think, though, that the institution 
pays researchers to run around, but they don't. Sometimes, like in Mickey's 
case, he had to do it on his own dime, and so did many other, and so will many 
more. Your institution will not pay for everything.


Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2011 10:17:05 +0200
> From: david.marjanovic@gmx.at
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: The myth of coding from specimens firsthand and the untapped 
> resource of photos
> > The time to prepare the photographic database would be long, and
> > costly, and certainly involve massive amounts of patience, and in a
> > time of economic floundering, when the US at least has been cutting
> > back its "discretionary" science spending and certain vociferous
> > factions antithetical to Science have risen up (especially in
> > connection to "ClimateGate"), most researchers opting to take
> > personal projects on should have to shoulder the burden of their
> > desires. Any further increase in the quality of virtual data as a
> > resource takes time and money, and we can spend that either
> > travelling to the sources, or paying for the sources to develop
> > resources to negate that.
> What is cheaper: an institution paying for having its collections
> photographed, or the same institution paying its researchers to zoom
> around the globe again and again?
> I bet it's the former by an order of magnitude or two.
> The need to travel around the globe to see specimens will not disappear;
> but if we can restrict it, while at the same time _decreasing_ our
> dependence on crappy line drawings, that's exactly what we should do.