unionization and charges

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at FMPPR.FMNH.ORG
Fri Feb 20 08:43:56 CST 1998

At 10:56 AM 02-20-98 -0300, Doug Yanega wrote:

>        Just imagine what would we do if, tomorrow, some book like
>"Birds/Fungi/Flowers/Whatever of the World" showed up in the bookstores,
>and the author had taken a few million dollars in donations to coin
>hundreds of new names (and had deposited holotypes in a private collection
>to which they denied access). By our present codes, we'd have to publish
>(at our own expense!)            manuscripts establishing all of the
>synonymies involved. Then, of course, would come all the lawsuits ("You
>can't declare a synonymy unless you've seen my holotypes!"). It hasn't
>happened yet, and is probably unlikely, but it *could* happen

I'm no lawyer, so I'm not sure just what section of the US Code or even
common law would permit one party to sue another in civil court for damages
resulting from synonymization of scientific names.

Frankly, I just don't think that there is enough of a market for patronyms
to make unorthodox taxonomic practices lucrative.   (But then, I never
thought anyone would pay eight million for a fossil, either.)

Thomas G. Lammers

Classification, Nomenclature, Phylogeny and Biogeography
of the Campanulaceae, s. lat.

Department of Botany
Field Museum of Natural History
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496 USA

e-mail:    tlammers at fmnh.org
voice mail: 312-922-9410 ext. 317
fax:                312-427-2530
http:    www.fmnh.org/candr/academic_affairs/collection_report/cv_lammers.htm

"There are no uninteresting things;
 there are only uninterested people."
                                  -- G. K. Chesterton

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