NMAS: Fossil Case Demands Inquiry

A RECENT article in the journal "Nature" details a dispute among paleontologists regarding the discovery and naming rights of an armor-plated, ancient reptile.

The allegations of plagiarism and usurping of naming rights are extremely serious and involve a small number of researchers associated with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

The case has received international attention, has been covered on the front page of the Journal and is the subject of numerous blogs. Therefore, it is imperative that the facts and circumstances leading to the allegations be reviewed by an independent, unbiased authority, as well as by subject experts.

Due process is needed so that both sides may receive a fair review. The board members of the New Mexico Academy of Science fully support the thorough review of the case that is currently being spearheaded by the Ethics Education Committee of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, as well as reconsideration of the case by Stuart Ashman, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

President, New Mexico Academy of Science