Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How Much to Name a Monkey?

The answer is $650,000. That's what online casino GoldenPalace.com spent to attach its name to Callicebus aureipalatii ("golden palace" in Latin). As Stephen Strauss explains in this column, though, the business of selling naming rights to fund research has not been as simple and straightforward as scientists hoped. How, after all, do you decide what it's worth to name a genus of ants? ($25,000 is the current price tag). As Susan Swan of Canada's Museum of Nature puts it, "Everybody loves the idea, it is just the logistics of making it happen just hasn't panned out."

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