Anyone who has been to the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta (about 1.5 hrs northeast of Calgary) and loves dinosaurs is always impressed by the place. I try to go every few years to check out any new displays and I am always rewarded by the experience. I may have to go several times this year alone now. The Tyrell also brings in experts in paleontology and related fields give lectures to the public and the list is available here.
Among the names I recognized two immediately: Donald Prothero (March 14) and Simon Conway Morris (August 7). Prothero is the author of Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters, a direct refutation of the oft used claim that there are no ‘transitional fossils’ and other creationist nonsense. Simon Conway Morris is world renowned for his work on the Burgess Shale fossils, first discovered by Charles Walcott early in the 20th century. Morris’ work was made famous in Stephen J. Gould’s best-seller A Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History. While I think Morris’ opinion (similar to Kenneth Miller’s) on god and evolution is nonsense and completely unverifiable, his work on the Burgess Shale fauna is outstanding and has a direct bearing on our understanding of the so-called ‘Cambrian explosion’ (dealt with in Prothero’s book).
I plan to attend both these lectures.