Florentino Ameghino incorrectly claimed humans evolved in Argentina. But many of his contemporaries claimed he was both an uneducated science novice and possibly a fraud. Did Ameghino make mistakes or did he willingly lie to fit evidence into his nationalistic views?
Florentino Ameghino is a controversial figure in paleontology. He demonstrated that South America was home to many unique mammal fossils, disproved biased paleontological theories, but also thought humans evolved in Argentina. Here I talk about this amazing, and controversial, figure.
Paleontology in Latin America has until recently been marked by Europeans and Americans taking fossils without giving credit to local scientists. This is sometimes called colonial paleontology and is a main reason why paleontology lacks diversity.
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.
Calcareous nannofossil species are 3.5x as likely to be named after men than women, a subtle sign of gender bias in paleontology.