I'm tempted to fly off the handle about any unelected (OK, so I don't even like the elected ones) tyrannical bureaucrats messing with things they don't understand, but I realize I don't know enough about this situation at the Bureau of Land Management to argue effectively. I do wonder, however, why the unelected bureaucrat and possible tyrant who has been given so much power over palaeontologists and their fascinating work doesn't have a degree in some field related to her work. The article says she is a "graduate of the University of California at Berkeley" but doesn't mention what her degree is in. Therefore, I think I'm justified in assuming her degree isn't in archeology or palaeontology. Surely the writer would have mentioned it if it were. The softball tactic of saying she had a fossil collection when she was eight years old just doesn't cut it. It's what's not said that convinces me. In fact, why don't they have someone with an advanced degree in fossil-ology determining the disposition of scientific research in one of the most important areas of fossil research in the world? What a joke. Perhaps the worst part is this:
The current standard mandates "you do more than collect cool bones," Bryant said. You also must have a scientific approach to the research, called a research design, and a plan to communicate the results of the research to the public.
"The public owns that resource and needs to get something back from it," she said.
Oh, I see. The "public" owns the bones. They put so much into those bones, they have to "get something back". Now I'm seeing the light. If any scientist wants to actually go out and find the bones, unearth them and study them, he has to get past Laurie and her oh-so-scientific determination of whether his research is going to benefit the "public". And how exactly does she help anyone get out there and do the hard work of science? And what right does she have to get in the way of science? No, not what power, what RIGHT?? 'Cause if she's half the bitch about it the article makes her out to be, a lot of bones are going to be sitting in the ground, doing nobody any good, for another few hundred million years. Good work, Laurie. I don't know what the "public" would do without people like you out there protecting us.