miércoles, 8 de septiembre de 2010

Activities of the International Palaeontological Association

Dear Palaeontologist,

We would like to introduce the International Palaeontological Association, especially if you are not familiar with IPA. This body was founded in 1933, with the aim ‘to promote and coordinate international cooperation in palaeontology.’ The most prominent activity of the IPA is its sponsorship of the four-yearly International Palaeontological Congress. The third congress was held recently in London. IPC3 attracted 800 delegates. In addition to facilitating lively exchange among palaeontologists, this meeting had a big impact on cognate disciplines such as biodiversity, evo-devo, molecular phylogeny, and evolutionary biology in general. The two prior congresses were held in Sydney and Beijing.

Despite the success of these meetings and its grand title, the IPA is not widely known, despite the fact that it represents our discipline globally. IPA participates in IUGS, IUBS, and UNESCO. With more support and active participation by individual members, IPA can do more for palaeontology. We encourage all palaeontologists to consider joining IPA.

The IPA does a great deal of lobbying and supporting ‘behind the scenes’. Because of its title, the IPA can help palaeontologists in any country who have a case to make for conservation of a site, care for a museum collection, or some other core issue that affects our profession. IPA has been able to provide some limited financial help for students to attend IPC meetings. Now, the IPA committee would like to build this activity much further, offering bursaries and prizes for promising young palaeontologists from around the world.

If you feel these are worthwhile proposals, we would like to welcome you as a subscribing member of the IPA. It costs just $5 per year, and you can pay readily online – go to our web site at http://ipa.geo.ku.edu/index3.html and hit the donate button. Complete the blue box at the top first, indicating whether you wish to pay for one year, or several.

We look forward to welcoming you to IPC4 in 2014. The search for a suitable site is already underway. We will distribute information nearer the time.

Best wishes,

 Michael J. Benton

 President, International Paleontological Association

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Asociación Paleontológica Argentina