Michael has raised an important point regarding public relations.
As it is a bit early after the 4th celebrations, my first paragraph is a digression into the 'magnetic' nature of meteorites- the attraction.
In spite of recent problems on the list, we are a fraternity, not in the sense of today's college campus, but in that we are members of a rare, select group, brought together by our love, dedication, and commitment (by whatever individual paths fate has provided us to get here - at this moment in space/time) to what we know to be treasures in the truest sense of the word, not the price tag placed on items, but the awe-inspiring journey both of our mind to the outermost reaches of the universe and inward to the core of our very being. Existence. It is not an escape from reality, but a desperate seeking to define it that touches us in the solitude of our own thoughts and wonder. Enlightenment. Feeling the forces of the universe, gaining an understanding on an unconscious level. But I do digress.
Public perception at present, could not be farther from the truth. They have never been informed as to what a collector is . Do they know about the blood, sweat and tears? Do they have an inkling that we are scientists as well? Everyone who is involved in the field is an educated, well trained scientific expert or novice on the way. Just looking at the detail in the postings of the group has got to be impressive to research scientists as well. We provide answers as do they. We are the scientific field engineers (figuring the trajectory and determining where to find the large pieces vs. the small, etc.) of the science of meteoritics. We work closely with the research scientists and institutions. All of us know the access of our 'material' given to research scientists and institutions, not only for classification, but because we have an inextricable link and yearning to know, to learn, to follow new pathways opened.
So the public and media we must inform, educate, all in a spirit of belonging to a dignified group, not as individual greed mongers, but as intelligent, concerned citizens as they are.
Obviously, in the interest of keeping prices down, along with our fellow research scientists, the treasure end of it, as we personally see it, will have to take a back seat with the public, while our scientific connection must be in the fore.
That we are a close knit 'organization', if you will, is paramount. Many of us are friends. That should show. We should never argue in front of people. Bad impressions are difficult to overcome and people talk. We must treat the fellow collector as if our life depends on it, because many of our livelihoods do depend on lower prices.
In an effort to keep this short, I'll end and look forward to more suggestions from others more knowledgeable than I.
Also dying to hears opinions on Ron's post about DK36. A new type? of asteroid? That orbit looks a little too close for comfort - what is 750,000 miles? especially if there are more behaving similarly?