Ethics of selling

Neal Evenhuis neale at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Wed Mar 8 15:35:58 CST 2000

At 2:19 PM -0800 3/8/00, Doug Yanega wrote:
>For a few thousand bucks, you can easily
>publish a book yourself - at least enough copies to satisfy the Code - and
>even if every name in it is a synonym, your patrons WILL still be
>immortalized, since those synonyms will have to be cited forever after.
>Heck, I have a box of nice Morphos sitting here, and I'll bet people would
>pay *plenty* to have them named after them. So what if they're all
>conspecific and have a name already? The Code does not prohibit one from
>knowingly publishing synonyms, and the suckers paying me will each get a
>nice, shiny blue holotype to mount on their wall...

The Code stipulates that to be a valid publication, one of the
criteria be that it be "issued for the purpose of providing a public
and permanent scientific record" (Art. 8.1.1).

Perhaps, to avoid people from abusing the ability to publish a
superfluous number of species names solely because someone gave them
money (i.e., for commercial purposes), there should be a definition
of what being truly "scientific" means in Art. 8.1.1.

Right now, there are some out there that think that certain
publications mentioning scientific binominals are invalid because
they were published in "religious texts" rather than scientific ones
(e.g., Lesser's third edition of Insecto-Theology [1758]). I would
counter that this sort of publication could well be scientific as
WELL as being religious.

But how can we define when a species is really described for
scientific purposes rather than for commercial or even religious


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