Ethics of selling

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Wed Mar 8 14:03:39 CST 2000

Yes, words like "selling" can made fund-raising sound very crude, but that
is what we are doing when we provide "naming opportunities" [which is what
one of our development officers calls it]. However, whether that makes the
activity unethical is another question. Was it ethical for the Swedes to
accept Nobel's money to redeem his name, now famous for prizes, not the
explosives that killed?

F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., USDA
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D. C. 20560
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 FAX
cthompso at

>>> Sven O Kullander <sven.kullander at NRM.SE> 03/08 9:57 AM >>>

The fact that names get based on spenders or others offering time, space,
interest or volunteering hands, in recognition of unconditional support is
quite a different thing from offering names for sale. Noone would
disapprove of the first; and that is why we have patronyms, and there was
never much objections to honoring deserving souls. The second phenomenon
clearly unethical no matter what the price. Any price is too cheap.

Sven O Kullander
Department of Vertebrate Zoology
Swedish Museum of Natural History
POB 50007
SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden


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