[CODATA-international] Ethical query on “What is the ethical impact of vendor sponsorship of scientific associations, scientific journals , scientific conferences etc in return for promoting their brand as the Science of a topic through the scientific associations

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Mon Feb 20 03:51:17 EST 2023

Dear colleagues

I was giving a lecture on Ethics to PhD students of a Centre for Doctoral Training at a UK university last week. There were lot of interesting ethical queries raised by the students as part of their RRI plans. Some of the questions reminded me of some of the ethical questions that I raised some time back. It is only by harnessing the wisdom and ideas from everyone, can answers be found to these ethical queries.

I have an ethical query and appreciate your advice and guidance.

What is the impact of trust and credibility of science when there are examples of  some GIS vendors in recent years (starting 2016) trademarking and using “Science” as part for their brand/marketing/sales of their products/services?

Is it Ethical for any GIS Vendors to use “science” as part of marketing strategy for selling/promoting their products/services/brand.

Is using “science” as part of marketing for selling/promoting products/services/brand by GIS vendors misinformation ?

What is the ethical impact of vendor “sponsorship” of scientific conferences, scientific journals in return for promoting their brand as the Science of a topic  through the scientific association's publications, website, social media etc  for  Geographic Information Science discipline as a whole?

What will be the impact of this for Integrity of Science?

What is the impact of this for Humanity?

In my humble opinion, All GIS scientific associations, scientific conferences, scientific journals  should say NO to “sponsorship” offers from any Vendors who use “science” as any part of their product/brand/services marketing agenda. This kind of “sponsorship” should be rejected to protect the trust and credibility of science.

Background information at



Ethical frameworks in governance at all levels (from global to national to local) are important to protect democracy, protect human rights and prevent corruption.

Best wishes


Dr Suchith Anand

Senior Adviser to Governments and International Organisations | Scientist | Board member | Governance | Policy | Consultant in Data Science and Data Ethics | Global Citizen | SDG Volunteer and Advocate




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