[Taxacom] another ebay auction of naming rights

Peter Rauch peterar at berkeley.edu
Wed Oct 21 14:28:18 CDT 2015


On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 11:32 AM, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

> ...cut, cut...

This is a significant argument opposing the use of auctions as a
fund-raising tool, and it is hard to see a good way to counteract this,
because it is rather fundamental in that we ask for all sorts of legal
provisions that distinguish academia from commerce, and this does indeed
undermine that distinction.

It seems that you are trying to identify other distinctions between
"academia" and "commerce", because academia is already and deeply involved
in commerce. What would those other critical distinctions be ?

Also, while it seems nice to believe that taxonomy (and the "...sale of
nomenclatural acts...") is not commercial, I wonder how much insect
taxonomy would have been conducted over more than a century by land-grant
colleges (e.g., think Colleges of Agriculture, not Depts of Zoology), USDA,
and other such entities (e.g., in other academic and govt entities, medical
entomology, parasitology,, etc.), were there no "commercial value" in that
taxonomic enterprise ?

It seems to me that rather than trying to run away from the notion that
taxonomy / systematics / selling nomenclatural acts  / etc. are directly,
if not intimately, tied to commerce, are influenced by commerce, and are
indeed required by commerce, this enterprise should be examining all the
ways it can to embrace its values to commerce.

Attempting to retain an image of purity and unbiasedness, and of
non-commercial consequence and societal value, seems unnecessary at the
very least, a diminishment of the enterprise's role in society, and a lost
opportunity to regain the (financial) support it needs to address the task
at hand (stemming the loss of biodiversity due to lack of appreciation of
it at every level of intellectual and practical understanding).

Peter



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