Heritage Action's "No, York University is NOT endorsing metal detecting!" (13/07/2014) is worth a read. A metal detectorist went to a conference at York university and reports that "the archies were praising the efforts of detectorists big time" and "me and my fellow detectorists came away very proud of our hobby". Heritage Action point out that they'd probably got the wrong end of the stick (but who knows in Bonkers Britain?).
The archaeologist is yet to be born who thinks the way most detecting happens – collecting for personal benefit and not reporting – is praiseworthy. So please don’t confuse utilising the data that a minority produces with being supportive of the behaviour of the majority [...]. It’s likely the academics made that clear at the time – or thought they did. However, the lesson to be learned is that it’s important to explain things VERY clearly to artefact hunters. If they come away from an academic conference (an academic conference, for goodness sake!) feeling “very proud of our hobby” there must have been a pretty dire communication failure.Here's the conference programme: "Connecting Through Coinage Conference" . Have a look at the speakers and what topics were not discussed and work out for yourselves why the tekkies came away puffed-up, and presumably other members of the public leaving with (presumably) totally the wrong impression of what the British academic world makes of artefact hunting and collecting and the international antiquities trade. All that was missing was Wayne Sayles. Was he not invited then?