Dung it! Who threw away my 7-year collection?

Fri Feb 6, 3:14 pm ET

LONDON – A British university has apologized to a Ph.D. student for throwing away his treasured, seven-year collection of lizard dung. Daniel Bennett has told Times Higher Education magazine that he had collected the dung in the Philippines while studying the rare butaan lizard, a relative of the Komodo dragon. The material was to be studied as part of his doctoral research.

Bennett said the 77-pound bag was thrown away by cleaners at his lab at Leeds University in northern England. He says the dung represented seven years’ worth of field work, and its loss “left me reeling.”

The university said Friday it had apologized.

Bennett says he rejected the university’s compensation offer of 500 pounds ($750) and will “see them in court.”



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Clarissa on February 9, 2009 at 5:04 am

    Seriously, how much will the court award Daniel, I wonder? And on another hand, what should grad students do if somebody (particularly the school, or the cleaners) accidentally trashed or destroyed their samples or collection?

    I can’t imagine my heartache if somebody trashed my samples collected over 7 years!!

  2. Posted by Cush In SF on February 9, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    I totally agree. It is one of those mistakes that should never happen. Some academic stuff take so long to do that cannot be redone within a lifetime without tremondous waste. They should get a lot of people to help him put his collection back together if possible. Like that will happen!

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