Mon, Sep 08, 2003 - Page 7 News List

Fur flies as dinosaur experts feud

BONES TO PICK The row about what wiped out the dinosaurs has sparked allegations of deception and unethical behavior in scientific circles

BY ROBIN MCKIETHE OBSERVER , LONDON

Nor is Keller reticent in her interpretation of Smit's behavior.

"He tried to postpone our results so that he could remain unchallenged at that meeting," she states in Nature.

Smit dismisses the allegation as "ridiculous." He blames the delays on his busy schedule and poor communications by those running the project. He also claims Keller misidentified some fossils in her samples.

The row is far from over. Project scientists are preparing papers containing results of studies of the samples they obtained from Smit and these will be published in a special issue of Meteoritics and Planetary Science next year. Few doubt it will resolve the issue. As MacLeod says: "It's no longer about science. It's about reputations."

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