Comment on the letter of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) dated April 21, 2020 regarding “Fossils from conflict zones and reproducibility of fossil-based scientific data”: Myanmar amber

Joachim Tobias Haug, Dany Azar, Andrew J. Ross, Jacek Szwedo, Bo Wang, Antonio Arillo, Viktor A Baranov, Julia Bechteler, Rolf Georg Beutel, Vladimir A Blagoderov, Xavier Delclòs, Jason A Dunlop, Kathrin Feldberg, Rodney M. Feldmann, Christian Foth, Alexander Gehler, Danilo Harms, Lars Hedenäs, Matúš Hyžný, John Wilhelmus Maria JagtElena A Jagt-Yazykova, Edmund Aleksander Jarzembowski, Hans Kerp, Phyo Kay Khine, Alexander G Kirejtshuk, Christian Klug, Dmitry S Kopylov, Ulrich Kotthoff, Jürgen Kriwet, Ryan C McKellar, André N Nel, Christian Neumann, Alexander Nützel, Enrique Peñalver, Vincent Perrichot, Anna Pint, Eugenio Ragazzi, Ledis Regalado, Mike Reich, Jouko K Rikkinen, Eva Maria Sadowski, Alexander R Schmidt, Harald Schneider, Frederick R Schram, Günter Schweigert, Paul A Selden, Leyla J Seyfullah, Mónica Morayma Solórzano- Kraemer, Jeffrey Stilwell, Barry Wilhelmus Martinus van Bakel, Francisco J Vega-Vera, Yongdong Wang, Lida Xing, Carolin Haug

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review


Recently, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) has sent around a letter, dated 21st April,2020 to more than 300 palaeontological journals, signed by the President, Vice President and a former President of the society (Rayfield et al. 2020). The signatories of this letter request significant changes to the common practices in palaeontology. With our present, multi-authored comment, we aim to argue why these suggestions will not lead to improvement of both practice and ethics of palaeontological research but, conversely, hamper its further development. Although we disagree with most contents of the SVP letter, we appreciate this initiative to discuss scientific practices and the underlying ethics. Here, we consider different aspects of the suggestions by Rayfield et al. (2020) in which we see weaknesses and dangers. It is our intent to compile views from many different fields of palaeontology, as our discipline is (and should remain) pluralistic. This contribution deals with the aspects concerning Myanmar amber. Reference is made to Haug et al. (2020a) for another comment on aspects concerning amateur palaeontologists / citizen scientists /private collectors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-437
Number of pages7
JournalPaläontologische Zeitschrift
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020

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