Paleontology ‘a hotbed of unethical practices rooted in colonialism’, say scientists

Read the full story in The Guardian.

The public image of palaeontologists as dusty, but rather affable academics, could be due an update. The study of ancient life is a hotbed of unethical and inequitable scientific practices rooted in colonialism, which strip poorer countries of their fossil heritage, and devalue the contributions of local researchers, scientists say.

Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, an international team of palaeontologists argue that there has been a steady drain of plesiosaurs, pterosaurs, prehistoric spiders, and other fossils from poorer countries into foreign repositories or local private collections – despite laws and regulations introduced to try to conserve their heritage.

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