The New Bone Wars

We examine the role of professional jurisdiction in the convergence of science and business by exploring the relationship between professional jurisdiction and ethical decision-making. We apply the concept of professional jurisdiction (Abbott 1988) to the turf wars over vertebrate fossils among professional fossil collectors, vertebrate paleontologists, and the professional associations. We posit a series of hypotheses relating to how perceptions of professional jurisdiction influence stakeholders’ ethical decision-making frameworks concerning the sale and purchase of vertebrate fossils, as well as how professional paleontologists who work with vertebrate fossils and other stakeholders differ in ethical decision-making if vertebrate fossils are perceived inside or outside of their professional jurisdiction. We develop a time-line of jurisdiction battles over vertebrate fossils and a model of the influence of professional jurisdiction perceptions on ethical decision-making. We propose a methodology for examining ethical decision-making using the Multidimensional Ethics Survey (MES)
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