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dc.contributor.authorWylie, Caitlin Donahue
dc.date.accessioned2022-02-21T15:13:37Z
dc.date.available2022-02-21T15:13:37Z
dc.date.issued2021
dc.identifierONIX_20220221_9780262365970_138
dc.identifier.urihttps://directory.doabooks.org/handle/20.500.12854/78618
dc.description.abstractAn investigation of the work and workers in fossil preparation labs reveals the often unacknowledged creativity and problem-solving on which scientists rely. Those awe-inspiring dinosaur skeletons on display in museums do not spring fully assembled from the earth. Technicians known as preparators have painstakingly removed the fossils from rock, repaired broken bones, and reconstructed missing pieces to create them. These specimens are foundational evidence for paleontologists, and yet the work and workers in fossil preparation labs go largely unacknowledged in publications and specimen records. In this book, Caitlin Wylie investigates the skilled labor of fossil preparators and argues for a new model of science that includes all research work and workers. Drawing on ethnographic observations and interviews, Wylie shows that the everyday work of fossil preparation requires creativity, problem-solving, and craft. She finds that preparators privilege their own skills over technology and that scientists prefer to rely on these trusted technicians rather than new technologies. Wylie examines how fossil preparators decide what fossils, and therefore dinosaurs, look like; how labor relations between interdependent yet hierarchically unequal collaborators influence scientific practice; how some museums display preparators at work behind glass, as if they were another exhibit; and how these workers learn their skills without formal training or scientific credentials. The work of preparing specimens is a crucial component of scientific research, although it leaves few written traces. Wylie argues that the paleontology research community's social structure demonstrates how other sciences might incorporate non-scientists into research work, empowering and educating both scientists and nonscientists.
dc.languageEnglish
dc.relation.ispartofseriesThe MIT Press
dc.subject.classificationthema EDItEUR::R Earth Sciences, Geography, Environment, Planning::RB Earth sciences::RBX Palaeontologyen_US
dc.subject.classificationthema EDItEUR::P Mathematics and Science::PS Biology, life sciences::PSA Life sciences: general issues::PSAD Bioethicsen_US
dc.subject.classificationthema EDItEUR::G Reference, Information and Interdisciplinary subjects::GL Library and information sciences / Museology::GLZ Museology and heritage studiesen_US
dc.subject.otherPalaeontology
dc.subject.otherPhilosophy of science
dc.subject.otherMuseology and heritage studies
dc.titlePreparing Dinosaurs
dc.title.alternativeThe Work behind the Scenes
dc.typebook
oapen.relation.isPublishedByae0cf962-f685-4933-93d1-916defa5123d
oapen.relation.isbn9780262365970
oapen.relation.isbn9780262542678
oapen.imprintThe MIT Press
oapen.pages264
oapen.place.publicationCambridge


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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0