Popularity cycles

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Oct 1, 2011, 8:47:25 PM10/1/11
to History of Paleontology
During the "Bone Wars" in the American West, it seems from my reading
that there were abundant sources for funding expeditions. Some of that
funding must have been available back in the labs, else how would the
largesse of the donors ever receive recognition?

Have spectacular finds or public sensations helped find real science?
Did something as recent as Jurassic Park have an influence on public
funding for paleontology? Do Argentina or China support work in ways
that they didn't before their now famous finds drew attention around
the world?

Excluding the next sensational find (terribly difficult thing to
schedule, that), what kinds of motives historically drive people,
corporations, educational institutions, and governments to fund



David Orr

Oct 1, 2011, 10:26:46 PM10/1/11
to History of Paleontology
I'm not sure about that. Marsh had funds, but Cope had to fight for
them over his entire career, and lack of funds is really what pushed
Leidy out of the game altogether (helped along by his distaste for the
feud). More recent funding sources, I'm not as sure about. Considering
that this is the true golden age of paleontology, you'd hope that more
money would be flowing into the field, but by what I've read online,
that's not necessarily the case. I'd be interested in learning more
about the approaches of different countries, for sure.




Oct 2, 2011, 11:59:35 AM10/2/11
to History of Paleontology
I'd thought that Marsh had money in his family that paid for his
education, his work, and even the chair at Yale that became his. Maybe
the Peabody for whom the museum is named was an uncle or great uncle.

I remember something about Cope's struggles from a visit to The
Academy of Natural Sciences and Dinofest about 15 years ago.

Who did the field work that provided the specimens for the Carnegie
Museum? Didn't Andrew Carnegie send ms around the world? Clearly (if
that's corect), he got recognition for his generosity like that.

And who funded the expeditions that brought the specimens to The
American Museum of Natural History? (Jerry, you out there?)


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