‘The artist’s piece is already in the stone’: Constructing creativity in paleontology laboratories

Caitlin Wylie
Laboratory technicians are typically portrayed as manual workers following routine procedures to produce scientific data. However, technicians in vertebrate paleontology laboratories often describe their work in terms of creativity and artistry. Fossil specimens undergo extensive preparation – including rock removal, damage repair, and reconstruction of missing parts – to become accessible to researchers. Technicians called fossil preparators choose, apply, and sometimes invent these preparation methods. They have no formal training, no standard protocols, and few...
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