"selling names"

Neal Evenhuis neale at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Tue Jan 25 16:49:36 CST 2000

At 9:10 PM -0500 1/25/00, Laurie Consaul wrote:
>The Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, has a program called the
>Nature Discovery Fund that was launched in December 1998, partly to
>make money for a biosystematics fund, but mainly to promote
>systematics. (Dr. Bob Anderson was describing new species from South
>America anyway, so it did not seem unreasonable to try promoting
>taxonomy and biodiversity to the public by offering a name in
>exchange for a donation).

Astronomers have been selling star names for a while -- though one
must be wary since some are scams and just take your bucks and go.

Check out an example of one of the more "regulated" of these -- but
here the names are not meant to be official star names -- they are
merely a PR gimmick to fund further research: a worthy goal indeed!

http://pacific-space-centre.bc.ca/framenet.htm (click on "Name a Star")

Though as well-intentioned in natural sciences as such an endeavor
may be, problems can still arise when "scammers" get into the act and
will describe species just for the money and not because they are
real species.

downside -- too many bogus names to deal with
upside -- too many bogus names to deal with (keeps us systematists in
business synonymizing them).

--Neal Evenhuis

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