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The Almighty Buck Idle Science

A Scientist Is Selling the Right To Name His Newly-Discovered Moth On eBay (vice.com) 60

sarahnaomi writes: An entomologist has decided to use eBay to auction off the naming rights for a newly-discovered species of moth. When a new species is discovered, the honor of naming it goes to whoever found it. However, Eric H. Metzler, an entomologist from the Wedge Entomological Foundation, decided to ask Western National Parks Association—who funded some of his research—to start an online auction and take the proceeds. “It’s getting harder and harder to get funding to do this research because it’s not seen as a priority in the way it used to be, even though it’s fundamental to our understanding of biodiversity,” says Paolo Viscardi, a curator at University College London’s Grant Museum. “Any mechanism where you can raise more funds to continue your work is taken—so I guess [auctioning of the naming rights] is another way to fund your research.”
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A Scientist Is Selling the Right To Name His Newly-Discovered Moth On eBay

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  • by Zibodiz ( 2160038 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @01:02AM (#50763597)
    I clicked this article, expecting to shake my head in disgust. Instead, that actually sounds like a pretty good idea for funding research. Bravo to Metzler for putting his pride second to his research.
    • by alzoron ( 210577 )

      It says (or at least very strongly implies) the money isn't for him and is to further research right there in the summary...

  • by fragMasterFlash ( 989911 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @01:03AM (#50763603)
    And we all know how moths feel about that.
  • This sounds like the perfect bid for GoldenPalace.com, which has a history of bidding on odd or unusual items as part of their marketing strategy. In fact, they have bid in the past on the scientific naming privileges for a new species of primate discovered in the Amazon basin among other strange items including a partially eaten grilled cheese sandwich with the likeness of a religious figure and a haunted cane to name just a couple. So, if anyone from Golden Palace is still listening, do this scientist a g

  • by Oligonicella ( 659917 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @01:51AM (#50763711)

    I may be IT by profession but I'm an entomologist by degree. Discovering a new species of moth is fringe, not fundamental. Calling it so is no more than an attempt to "raise more funds". While it is interesting to find new species, they are now very low population (especially in the US) and have a very minor influence on the ecology.

  • by Anonymous Coward


  • to secure "HitlerDidNothingWrong".

  • by robi5 ( 1261542 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @03:20AM (#50763879)


    Doubles as a password.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @03:44AM (#50763923)

    I bid for: moth'); DROP TABLE Insects; --

  • Set different names for different brackets. The higher up the cash goes, the more offensive the name gets.
  • There's no way science knows about all the different moths that arrive. There will be maybe 10,000 moths and none of them look the same.

  • Well - a website: http://biopat.de/ [biopat.de]
  • I would imagine that he retains the rights, but rather is selling a promise to name it whatever the winning bidder wants.

    So, however much this guy's word is worth, which may be negative, plus whatever it is worth to somebody to get to choose what to name something is actually how much one should bid.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll