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This publication is not deemed to be valid for taxonomic purposes [see Article 8b in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature 3rd Edition (1985), eds W.D. Ride et al.]



You will notice some changes with this issue. Increased printing/postage costs and my increasing work load means that I have shed some of the usual content such as full references - these can be found on our WWW site. At this stage I cannot promise to do than more than one issue per year but I will endeavour to send important news to our site and all major meetings are advertised there. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU NEED REFERENCE LISTS ETC.


Our World Wide Web page:


1997 finished in a flurry of activity, report writing and meetings: Alain Blieck and I continue to write and edit manuscripts for the final report of IGCP 328: Palaeozoic Microvertebrates which will be forwarded soon to Dr Peter Konigshof, the editor of Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg(see list below for final contents). Those contributors who have not finalised their manuscripts please send remaining material to Alain Blieck or myself NOW. The second part of the Gross Symposium was published midyear as Modern Geologyvol. 21, nos. 1/2 icluded 14more papers aand at least four are still in press. Other volumes published include the 1994, Moscow joint IGCP 328: SDS Symposium "Devonian Eustatic Changes of the World Ocean Level" as another volume ofCourier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg(see 1997 list).
IGCP 406: Circum Arctic Palaeozoic Vertebrates successes included the Buckow and St Petersburg meetings (see reports below) and two Special Publications (Nos 2 & 3) of Ichthyolith Issues resulted cotaining the Extended Abstracts from both gatherings - contact Dr Mark V.H. Wilson for copies. The 1997 list of microvertebrate and relevant papers is published in this Ichthyolith Issues. Consult the WWW site for information regarding the 1998 meetings of IGCP 406. The main news from 406 is the appointment of a third co-leader Dr Peep Mannik of Tallinn who will share the burden with Mark Wilson and Tiiu Märss.
IGCP 421 met for the first time in 1998 with meetings in Montpellier and Wollongong, Australia. Abstracts for the latter are published as a Geological Society of Australia Publication no. 48. Several papers and posters were relevant to Palaeozoic fish work in Northern Gondwana and especially Australasia (see 1997 list and individual news).
All of us have stories of cut-backs and retrenchments over the past couple of years and it is clear that many governments are considering discontinuing funding for basic science (under what I think is a false premise that basic scientific research bears no relationship to technology and progress). Jere H. Lipps (Past President Pal. Soc) in his last letter as President of the Paleontological Society (Priscum7, no. 2, 1997) discussed the perceived current problems facing palaeontologists in gaining employment and within the community at large. In our part of the world, following on from an essay commissioned for the upcoming Encyclopedia Of Palaeontology(Eds Michael Diamond & Ron Singer, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Chicago), Museum of Victoria palaeontologist, Tom Rich (in press), has analysed the publication record and, in parallel, the history of vertebrate palaeontology in the Australasian region. His finding that none of the current professional VPs with full-time (tenured) positions (in Academe, museums, surveys) in Australia is under 40 is a shocker (see New Scientist no. 1997). There is of course still plenty of opportunity for short-term contract work but considered research on living and fossil organisms does require a long-term approach, something which is hard to get across to politicians and funding bodies with 3- and 5-year mindsets. These problems and more were discussed at a workshop held at the Senckenberg last August - Paleontology in the 21st Century which considered the needs of both academe and industry. Current PS president Karl W. Flessa (kflessa@geo.arizona.edu) made a report on this meeting and a major policy document is planned. In addition, PS instituted a new Employment Initiatives Committeeto consider how the society