Bias in the Fossil Record Blog

A woman with a hat looks on as men dig for fossils

Finding Her Way: Annie Alexander (Part 1)

Annie Alexander loved paleontology and the outdoors. She used her financial acumen to support the paleo program at UC-Berkeley. She is important as one of the earliest American LGBTQIA paleontologists. She loved adventure and exploring the world with her close companion Louise Kellogg.

A large tyrannosaurus rex fossil skeleton in a museum display

Micro Musings: Sue the T. rex

A dinosaur named Sue shows the complicated history of diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness in paleontology. Sue was discovered by a woman on Native American land, and her story involves court cases, an FBI raid, and a multimillion dollar auction. Importantly, Sue’s story illustrates the complicated intersection of geosciences and Native American rights.

Old photo of a woman and five men near lab equipment with portraits of young woman and man with mustache

The Bascom-Goldschmidt Letters (Florence Bascom, Part IV)

The letters written between Florence Bascom and her mentor Victor Goldschmidt describe their close bond. Their letters also describe the tragedy faced by Goldschmidt as a result of World War I and the post-war economic crisis in Germany. In these letters we see a side of Bascom most biographies fail to mention. Bascom’s relationship with Goldschmidt shaped her into the “Stone Lady” we celebrate today.

A group of three portraits of men on the left and a young woman on the right.

On the Shoulders of Giants: Florence Bascom (Part III)

We stand on the shoulders of giants. Florence Bascom owes her success to a series of strong mentors who helped her thrive in a discriminatory world. She in turn mentored many of the top women in geology and paleontology of the 20th Century. Her story shows the power of mentors to make geosciences more inclusive.

Was Shen Kuo Really a Scientist? (Shen Kuo part 2)

Shen Kuo wrote about UFOs and the metaphysical in the same text in which he detailed amazing scientific work. Shen’s work “Dream Pool Essays” is more akin to a series of Reddit posts than a scientific journal, but does that make him less of a scientist? Or is our view of science a culturally-biased concept?


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