Meteorite Working Group (MWG)
The primary purpose of the MWG is to encourage and expedite the scientific utilization of Antarctic meteorite samples. To this end, the MWG attempts to honor all sample requests for legitimate scientific investigations with appropriate samples. The MWG does not rate the relative scientific merits of legitimate scientific investigations, except as such evaluations are necessary to decide allocations for small or rare specimens for which not all requests can be honored. In making allocations, however, the MWG does attempt to strike a balance between obtaining immediate scientific results and preserving samples for future study. In considering requests for allocation of Antarctic meteorites, the MWG pays no heed to the national origin of requests, nor to the nationality, affiliations, or gender of any requester.
Fairness, and the perception of fairness by the scientific community, is essential. As a consequence, service on MWG may actually entail certain restitutions. For example, MWG members will be rigorously held to the deadline announced in the Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter. As another example, the committee has requested that the JSC Antarctic Meteorite Curator contact another, non-Houston based, committee member before allocating samples to scientific collaborators or relatives, even though the sample requests fall within the curatorial allocation guidelines.