“You’ve got a lot of great dinosaurs in Oklahoma,” famous paleontologist Paul Sereno told Oklahoma Democrats at their convention breakfast today.
Some of the Democrats may have thought he was referring to Sen. Jim Inhofe, but he wasn’t. He was talking about the beasts that used to roam the earth and whose bones are now scattered all around said earth. People like Sereno find the bones and tell us things about the earth we wouldn’t have otherwise known.
Sereno, who is also a professor at the University of Chicago (and I’m going to tie this in to politics soon, I swear), discovered a “green sahara” in Niger in 2000 that is the focus of a story in September’s National Geographic magazine. The Supercroc that Sereno also discovered just ended a run at the natural history museum in Norman.
He and his wife, Gabrielle Lyon, who is also a scientist and educator, met Michelle Obama when she worked at the University of Chicago and have worked with her on public service projects in Chicago. Through Michelle, Sereno and Lyon have also gotten to know Sen. Barack Obama, who will speak at Invesco Field tonight.
“They’re some of the greatest human beings we know,” Sereno said. “We need great people in trying times.”
Sereno and Lyon wound up at the Oklahoma breakfast because they’re friends with Edmond attorney Reggie Whitten, a delegate here and a financial supporter of the couple’s Project Exploration, which works to help expose youths, particularly minority youths, to science by pairing them up with scientists in the field.
Delegate Tim Mauldin, a professor at Oklahoma City University, asked Sereno if he believes in global warming _ Sereno does _ and Mauldin suggested that Sereno tell Inhofe.
Sereno and Lyon have both spent a lot of time recently in Oklahoma, and both praised the state.
Besides having great dinosaurs, Lyon said, “It’s an extraordinarily diverse, fascinating state.”