Monday, July 24, 2023

Promoting Paleontology in the Sudan

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature of Science, History of Science, Palaeontology

Ed Hessler

I enjoy reading about careers in science, technology and maths. The journal Nature (March 8) fed that enjoyment with a feature about Sudanese vertebrate paleontologist Khalafallah Salih
Salih is now a professor at Al Neelain University, Sudan, where he did his undergraduate work. The article's author, Shihab Jamal asked Salih for some comments on the following.  There is a tab for translation from Arabic to English, both official languages of the Sudan.

--How did you break into vertebrate paleontology?

--What motivated you to return to Sudan?

--Which species do you focus on?

--Tell us about the core group of junior paleontologists you are building.

--Why would the Sudanese public be skeptical about your work?

--How do you work amid such turmoil?

He began his answer on public skepticism of his work by saying "The conservative mainstream population often collides with and rejects the value of certain scientific fields. I also face underestimation by some other academics, who say that I’m wasting my time on meaningless bones. Also, many citizens have never heard about palaeontological digs before."

I'd not heard of him and it was good to know something about this promising, young scientist who also has a interest in talking with the public about his work--what it is (and isn't) and why it is important. The two photographs show what I imagine to be is the fairly common posture of a paleontologist doing field work.


No comments:

Post a Comment