Monday, November 18, 2013

No Sale! Science Trumps Money in San Diego

The San Diego Natural History Museum today lowered the gavel on several fossils from their collection that were up for auction and science was declared the winning bidder. The museum released an official statement announcing cancellation of the sale scheduled for 19 November. The news comes only days after several notable paleontologists sharply criticized the museum's administration upon the original announcement of the proposed sale.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Adjacently Fossilized Dinos: The Science of Selling a Story

Peter Larson of the Black Hills Institute in Hill City, SD caused quite a stir at the 2013 annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Apparently he presented a poster depicting research performed on specimens that are about to go to public auction, which seems to be in conflict with standards set by the scientific community. Larson also allegedly misrepresented his research in his submitted abstract and used the poster session to promote the fast-approaching sale. Unfortunately, Larson's history can sometimes precede him and cast a negative light on his work before it is properly assessed. I find that too much time can be spent examining the intent of an individual when the actions should be the focal point.