Museum Guest Lecture on Fossil Frankensteins – Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Museum Guest Lecture on Fossil Frankensteins
What happens when old publications are used for new research? Dr. Lyndon K. Murray will address this issue when he speaks on “Fossil Frankensteins: Resurrecting Old Data” as the guest lecturer at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands on Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Paleontologists rely heavily on published information to do their jobs. Those jobs include measuring, and describing fossils, sampling them for chemical, radiometric, and genetic analyses, and recording geological information related to the sources of the fossils.
“A large part of paleontological work includes comparing one’s own research data with those data published by other paleontologists, geologists, and other scientists,” said Murray. “Errors occur in publication, as typographic mistakes, flawed hypotheses, inaccurate measurements, and poor analyses. Through time and progressive research most errors are corrected and the accurate information is eventually published in new articles or books. However, all previous publications (which still contain the original errors) are still available and researchers may be unaware of the errors or of subsequently published corrections. Those unrecognized errors may become incorporated into newly published analyses, thus resurrecting old and inaccurate data.”
Lyndon Murray has been the District Paleontologist of the Stout Research Center at Anza-Borrego DesertState Park since March, 2011. From 2003 to 2011 he was the collection manager of the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin, housing over 120,000 catalogued fossil specimens. From 2000 to August 2003 he managed the Vertebrate Paleontology Division at Yale University’s Peabody Museum of Natural History. From 1996 to 1998 he worked as collections manager of paleontology for the San Bernardino County Museum, also managing the fossil collections at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (where he now works) from 1994 to 1997.
He received a double BA degree in bioengineering from the Department of Applied Mechanics and Engineering Science and philosophy from the Department of Philosophy at the University of California at San Diego’s Revelle College, an MS in Quaternary Studies from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, and a PhD in paleontology from the Department of Geological Sciences in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin.
The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 am to 5pm. General admission is $8 (adult), $6 (military or senior), $5 (student), and $4 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visitwww.sbcountymuseum.org.
The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.