Position Statement:

Collection, Trade, and Curation of Extraterrestrial Materials

The Constitution of the Meteoritical Society states that "The purpose of this Society shall be to promote research and education in planetary science with emphasis on studies of meteorites and other extraterrestrial materials...". These goals are best served when meteorites are collected, curated and studied in an ethical manner. The Meteoritical Society has therefore adopted the following Guidelines:

Members who recover, collect, trade, display or do research on meteorites should comply with all applicable national, state and local laws and regulations, international conventions and agreements, institutional and professional rules and codes, and rules of best scientific practice.

The Society urges those who recover meteorites to certify their meteorites by obtaining an "official" name from the Nomenclature Committee of the Meteoritical Society and to satisfy the requirements for registration of new meteorites.

Collectors, curators and researchers should not acquire or study meteorites if they know that these samples were recovered or acquired illegally.

Researchers should not publish on new meteorites until the meteorites have been certified by the Nomenclature Committee.

The Society recommends that meteorite collectors co-operate with local government and institutional authorities to publicize the importance of meteorites. The Society encourages donation of representative samples of meteorites to institutions in places where new meteorites are found, in order to promote education and research in meteoritics. Note, though, that such donations do not replace the requirement for the deposit of a type specimen in a recognized meteorite collection.

Any member found to be in deliberate and systematic default of these guidelines will be subject to the conditions of Article 1.2 of the by-laws, and may be expelled from the Society.


Support Statements:

The Meteoritical Society has written the following statements of support. Such statements of support are approved by Council prior to being sent or posted.

  • April 12, 2023 – OneGeochemistry Initiative. The Meteoritical Society supports and endorses the OneGeochemistry initiative’s goals of developing and promoting international standards that make high-quality, highly-trusted geochemical and cosmochemical data findable and accessible online in this support letter.