[meteorite-list] meteorite coins - speaking with myself...

From: Martin Altmann <altmann_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 17:39:16 +0200
Message-ID: <00d101c773aa$bdea9350$e46dfea9_at_name86d88d87e2>

Hi Armando,

perhaps that last answer was to rude..

I think, that what you aren't able to see, if you construct your artificial
conflict between commerce and science, is
that "science", if we over-simplify, seems not to have a greater interest in
new hot-desert-finds or new finds elsewhere, as no attempts and efforts are
done aside the Antarctic campains.

That circumstance isn't a problem of commercialisation but a problem of
science & research politics.

We don't have to discuss, that the last 200 years the museums, universities
and other institutions acquired their meteorites almost only in buying them.
The largest private collections were bought by the institutions - the
Ward-Coonley collection, the Nininger collection, the Zeitschel
collection... and those were meteorite dealers, if you want so.
And museums and universities were still buying and trading in the 1990ies.

This situation has changed and that although due to the Sahara and Oman
rush, meteorites are nowadays so cheap and manifold, also the rarest types,
like never before in history.

Well, Armando, and if you look around, it seems that meteoritics isn't
directly one of the "sexy" fields of science anymore. Meteorites in general
are not part anymore of the curricula in the universitary education of
geology, mineralogy students, at best they play the role of exotic and whack
stuff there. You'll see it, if you're trying to get a meteorite classified,
there you'll find only a mere handful of universities, which are able to do
it (and if you would have an own website, you would get in from time to time
stones with an analyse of an university, where from the data almost everyone
on the list here could immediately exclude, that the stone is a meteorite,
but according the paper it is one or at least as a summary the lab can't
exclude that it might be a meteorite. - see also the always weeks-lasting
theatre, if a pretended meteorite had fallen, until the disclaimer is

And there you have to look for the problem, if some few scientist bemoan
that meteorites are commercialised and that they wouldn't have the budgets
to keep up with the private collectorship.
It's not about the dealers, it's not about the prices - meteorites are so
cheap as they never were before (and won't be again in future),
it's their low budget.

And that's in my eyes a problem of university and science politics, a
structural problem.
Rationally the argument of missing funds is hardly explainable.
Take the annual university budgets spent for equipment, resources, manpower
in fields of science like medicine, genetics, biochemistry, physics,
fundamental research, robotics, computer science...which are more en vogue
Each department, each professor has to apply for the equipment and resources
for his lab and has to explain his research project, I guess, with meteorite
scientists it won't be that different?

And there it is for me at least unitelligible, that in trying to get a
better financial equipment, the status of meteoritics seems not to be
treated adequately as that what it is,
as 1st hand Space Exploration (what else?).
Theoretically fullfledged and equitable to space flight missions and
Earth-based measuring and observation systems and devices.

And Armando, about what for amounts of meteorites are we talking?
The desert rush in Sahara and Oman resulted in a few metric tons of
meteorites, distributed in a period of a decade, most of them cheapest
chondrites. So all in all we are talking about a few million dollars,
scattered over 10 years worldwide,
a fly-poo compared to the budgets spent for the before mentioned scientific
subjects and especially compared to space flight.
Check the budget plans for the universities by your own.

And nobody can tell me, that if it is possible to send out each year a mars
probe, a dozen observational satellites, or even to built up a manned space
station, where the astronauts find out, whether the legs of a polliwog will
grow in Zero gravity on its back or on its belly,
or if each larger university has a fat budget for the mentioned subjects or
is able to get help from commercial sponsors,
that the international community of "science" wouldn't have been in
principal able to buy ALL meteorites which were found during the last years!
The costs for that would have equalled perhaps the fiftieth part of a single
space shuttle launch and that distributed over 10 or 7 years.

It is a deplorable defect that the few meteorite scientist obviously aren't
able to clarify the importance and the significance (and the low costs seen
to the scientifical gain) of their subject,
but for that, Armando, you can't accuse the meteorite dealers!
We aren't in the position to do the job of the scientists to get a more
sufficient budget, we aren't entitled for that.

And that it would be possible,
you can observe e.g. at the universities in Switzerland, they cooperate with
the Omani institutions, they do their field trips and they were successful
in finding meteorites and also some important ones.
And other institutions made also some field trips, o.k. maybe not so
successful, but learning by doing (and like this each private hunter
achieved his abilities), they could learn.

And take the great Antarctic Campains, since more than 30 years different
institutions from different nations are in the field and have recovered the
lion share of meteorites.
The Antarctic hunt, Armando, is ways more expensive as if they would simply
buy the meteorites from dealers and private hunters.
E.g. for that amount of money they spend for having only 3 weeks a team on
the blue-ice, they could buy our fat granulitic Moon of 600grams or the
entire KREEP stone and in 30 years of Antarctic hunt, no KREEP was found,
or Dean Bessey, the pirate, would deliver them for that amount 7tons of
chondrites right to the door (that would be much more than he traded in
That are the proportions, you have to keep in mind, Armando.

So all in all one could get the impression, that "science" seems not to see
any necessity to "rescue" the commercialized meteorites and that they are
content with the stones they already do have.
I write "could"...
Again, the costs of buying them is lower than those mentioned programs
costs, seen to the annual expenses in quite all other disciplines the costs
would be ridiculous, especially compared to the other methods of space
And the meteoritcists, if they feel like you, would simply have to advertise
their research subject in a better way to get more funds.
I mean, Armando, many of those dealers and hunters, you're permanently
attacking can work only, because they had or do have sponsors (or paying
their passion from other jobs)- so you really can't tell me, that if those
small private people are able to find sponsors, universities shouldn't be
able too??
Well, remember Killgore, he tried with his SW-meteorite lab.

Hence Armando, you have to address not to the dealers, but to the
scientists, if you aren't content with the situation.
I really hope that you got it now and you won't carry on with posting always
the same rubbish to the list.



-----Urspr?ngliche Nachricht-----
Von: meteorite-list-bounces at meteoritecentral.com
[mailto:meteorite-list-bounces at meteoritecentral.com] Im Auftrag von Martin
Gesendet: Samstag, 31. M?rz 2007 14:29
An: 'Armando Afonso'; meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
Betreff: Re: [meteorite-list] meteorite coins and other ridiculous


I don't know whether it's to indiscreet, but allow me a question:
What's your age?

Each collector, each museum, each lab can acquire from the meteorite dealers
partslices, fullslices, endcuts, whole stones and in most cases also the
main masses of those stones, where also micromounts are sold.

So where is your problem?
You don't want to buy small pieces, you don't want to buy large pieces,

therefore you obviously don't know, what you want

else than to complain.

That's a behaviour of an uneducated child.

Received on Sat 31 Mar 2007 11:39:16 AM PDT

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