sexta-feira, maio 15, 2009

Entrevistas aos bochechos: 10ª pergunta ao Paul Upchurch

RA: A random question now, but I think it is interesting to think about this sort of things, can vertebrate paleontology be a profitable science?

PU: I think you can argue it already is in some ways. It is quite clear that the general public are interested in dinosaurs in particular, but paleontology in general. So I think there are a number of roots through which paleontology can be economically viable. There is obviously museum work, educational work, work with the media, or, manufacturing casts for museums. In the States, for example, people actually pay in order to dig dinosaurs. There are a number of ways in which the subject canearn money… and I’ve just mentioned a few of them, there are things like writing books and so on. But I think it is absolutely crucial that governments continue to fund paleontology because it is a fragile science. It is one that we do out of interest, rather than something that is going to cure cancer. It has two important contributions that mean the government should want to fund it: the first one is educational, particularly if we can attract children to science… they don’t have to become paleontologist, they can become doctors or engineers. But, if we can inspire them to be interested in science in first place, I think that paleontology and particularly dinosaurs are good ambassadors.

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