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Re: A tough question...or is it?

That's not how I would define hobby, per se, but I do agree that the way in 
which research is funded is an important distinction (has functional effects, 
etc) and this might therefore be denoted terminologically.  That said, the 
terminology would really need to be applied at the level of individual 
projects, rather than an entire field of study: many paleo projects, for 
example, are privately funded.  Others require no outside funding at all.  

--Mike H.

On Jul 29, 2013, at 11:47 AM, dale mcinnes <wdm1949@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Augusto ..
> Palaeontology IS a hobby .. albeit .. a professional hobby
> run by professionally skilled researchers, artists, illustrators,
> technicians. Technically .. any field that does not stand on its
> own [financially or management wise] and needs to be propped up by
> gov't mamagement/funding .. IS a hobby.
> And professional hobbyists have contributed greatly to science. Most
> sciences find themselves in this catagory. It does not take away from
> their importance to mankind. A science that is not a professional
> hobby is a science that is in complete control of its own funding and
> therefore complete control over its management. It is more than a matter
> of semantics here.
> The decision to remain a professional hobby is entirely up to its 
> practitioners. Whatever they're most comfortable with. Just saying ..