First, I want to apologize for being AWOL the past few days after having just launched the GoFundMe funding campaign and this blog. I made it back in time to attend the 76th annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Salt Lake City, though, and hope to create more contacts to help spread word of this project. For those of you who don’t know, this is pretty much the meeting that anyone who participates in the study of vertebrate paleontology wants to attend every year. Every tribe has its culture and traditions, and paleontologists are no different. It’s a great place to learn and share knowledge, cultivate professional relationships, and generally have a rip-roaring time.
The past few days I’ve been mostly out of phone service (time to change that plan) but I have been absolutely delighted to see the response to our fundraising campaign so far. What pleases me the most, I have to say, is how few of your names I recognize. This is great news! It will be wonderful if many of my colleagues and friends and relatives want to contribute to this project, but for it to really succeed we need to attract a much wider audience- the general public. I hope to see a lot of non-paleontologists watching this blog and participating actively. People asking questions about what’s going on and how it works. Engaging the public in science is a big part of our goal.
Over the years I’ve heard a lot of my colleagues refer to paleontology as “the Gateway Drug to Science. It’s so true! Some of us never got over it. We’ll have some more news for you soon about this project and see what related talks and stories come out of the SVP meeting over the next several days.