News of the WeekPlanetary Science

Imaging Spat Pits Amateur Against Pros

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Science  23 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5474, pp. 2110-2111
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5474.2110

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BOSTON-- A long-running dispute over who should get credit for first reporting landmarks on Mercury's uncharted hemisphere burst into public view on 26 May, when a Boston University press release claimed honors for a BU team without mentioning the contributions of an erstwhile collaborator, amateur astronomer Ron Dantowitz. The row, which has left both sides bitter and unwilling to work with each other, "was the opposite of how a collaboration between amateurs and professionals should be," says one of the scientists involved.