When she was about 82 or so, veteran actress Ruth Gordon was given her first Academy Award. At the ceremony, she exclaimed to the audience: “Oh, this is so very encouraging! Thank you so much!” With that, she sat down.

Today, on the occasion of my being given the Harrell L. Strimple Award by the Paleontological Society, I want to say, as Miss Gordon did, “This is so very encouraging. Thank you so very much!”

It is highly encouraging for me, as it is for many others of us who collect and study fossils, that there should be such an...

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