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Evan Faulkenbury, Kevin Sheets
When discussing an occupation such as paleontology, we imagine professional people with PhDs and a knack for getting a little dirty in the pursuit of discovery. Never do we imagine cutthroat tactics and destruction for the sake of discovery. The professionalism of paleontology has gone through both of these stages from its humble beginnings as early as the sixth century B.C.E. to the modern day. “The Bare Bones of Paleontology” examines how paleontology became a professional career with distinguished scientists rather than scientists who only wanted glory. This paper examines this change in professionalism with the backdrop of “The Bone Wars”, a period in American History where cutthroat tactics were used by two scientists to ensure they would discover more fossils than the other. Without this era of paleontology, the profession would not be seen the way it is today.
Paleontology, History, Professionalization, Transformations