Ethics of selling

Wed Mar 8 21:40:11 CST 2000


The risk is not only to have only descriptions of insects with no
revisions... but also the change of groups to study. I imagine you will
have more easy a client "sponsor" for a new Dynastine or a Macrodontia
long-horn than for a new Scelionid or Sciarid... That could be something to
take a decision to contract the next taxonomist "Are you studying nice
insects ?" Understand by nice, a group easy to sell...

Jean-Michel Maes.

N.B. I am studying Lucanids... perhaps can I found a new position as name

At 04:18 PM 8/03/00 -0500, you wrote:
>>The unethical activity is the use of a common, shared and free resource,
>>such as zoological nomenclature, for personal gain.
>I FULLY AGREE, but we are not talking about PERSONAL GAIN. Never have,
>never will, but are talking about support for Science, the community, etc.
>>Society has recognised the need for free information flow in science and
>>generally supports museums with staff providing all kinds of services for
>>"free" (actually a kind of reciprocal services).
>Maybe in Sweden, but not in USA and most countries* I know. Society is no
>longer supporting museums so scientists can provide free services. If the
>service doesn't pay, they cut it off.  In the last 10 years we have lost
>half our scientific positions. So, I see the University approach of seeking
>endowed chairs "through naming opportunities" as an ethical (but perhaps
>unrealistic) means to ensure that there will be systematists in the next
>generation. So, my argument is with those who do sell names for a mere $500
>or $3000. We need lots more and long-term funding.
>*Obviously if Germany was supporting its systematists and museums, then
>BIOPAT would never have arisen! Biopat isn't about systematists making money
>for themselves, but for their science and conservation. I don't believe any
>systematist who has named a species for "support," of whatever kind, was
>doing it for personal gain. Yes, once the British Museum paid Francis Walker
>per the number of new species he described and he responded by describing
>too many. But that was short-sighted administrators like the ones we have
>today which pay us by the number of papers we publish!
>F. Christian Thompson
>Systematic Entomology Lab., USDA
>Smithsonian Institution
>Washington, D. C. 20560
>(202) 382-1800 voice
>(202) 786-9422 FAX
>cthompso at
Jean-Michel MAES
Museo Entomologico
Asociacion Nicaraguense de Entomologia
AP 527 - Leon

tel 505-0-3116586

FAX 505-0-3115700

jmmaes at


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