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Dear colleagues,
I received email from some colleagues requesting more information on the Trademark of “Science”. So for openness and transparency , I would like to provide more information.
I am not a native English speaker, so my apologies if anything got lost in translation.  Please feel free to ask me if you need any further information.
I am a Geographic Information Scientist. Geographic Information Science (GIS) is my scientific discipline. I am now writing an article on Education which is also looking into the Ethics of Digital Feudalism in GIS Education. I am inviting advice and guidance from colleagues as I have many questions that I do not know answers.  Hence I shared my ethical questions. 
I came across  example of a vendor trademarking “the Science of Where” in the GIS/mapping domain and using this to promote their brand/products/services.
Is it Ethical to market/promote any vendor brand/products/services as “the Science ” of whichever area of study ? Is Science in that subject area   “owned” by the Vendor who has trademark rights? For example if vendors start trademarking and marketing their brand/products/services as “The Science of Climate Change” , “The Science of Where” etc etc?  If so, what are the implications for credibility of Science? 
Are there any guidelines for  Scientific Associations (esp. if they are members of the International Science Council ) for  taking sponsorship from vendors who promote their   product/brand/services as  “The Science of “whatever” topic !?
I am a member of the GEO Data Ethics Working Group (The WG was  closed this month by GEO Secretariat due to “resource constraints” ) where I have been raising the issue of vendor sponsorship for Group on Earth Observations (GEO) conferences, projects etc and the need to have clear guidelines.
I will appreciate advice and guidance from colleagues on this. Thanks.
Best wishes
On Tuesday, 26 July 2022, 17:48:25 BST, suchith via Geospatial IG wrote:
Dear colleagues
I am now writing an article on GIS Education and I will appreciate your your advice and guidance.
Is it ethical for GIS Vendors (Vendor X or Y , it doesn’t matter)   to trademark/sales/market their products/brand/services as “the science”? It might be a profit /sales/marketing strategy for the vendors to help increase market share for their products, add more credibility for their brand/products/services etc . But what will be the affects for the credibility of science and scientific community in the future?
If any Vendor is “sponsoring”  Scientific conferences or education initiatives (“free” licences etc) in return for promoting the vendor  products/brand as “the Science” in the conference website etc ,  what is its impact for the discipline? Is it ethical?  If so,  what happens when then the vendors can use this framework “sponsorship “ model for promoting their product/brand as “The Science”  and advance the vendor Education agenda to the student and user communities ? Are there any guidelines on vendor lobbying in GIS Education initiatives?What is the ethical impact of this for the discipline as a whole?   What is the impact of this for Humanity? 
Are there university policies and code of conduct to follow if any academics/researchers are funded by any vendor (for example, through GIS vendor funded faculty posts , research funding by any GIS vendors)?   Can academics and researchers publish articles on GIS education promoting the vendor products (either directly or indirectly)? 
I am interested to learn more on what policies and curriculum are universities, educators adopting to reduce Digital Feudalism in GIS education? Do your courses cover topics on data rights, digital citizenship ?  
I will appreciate your advice and guidance. Please send your reply to ***@***.***  
You might be interested in the Data Values article that myself and Kathryn Bailey wrote , which looks into the Ethics of Digital Feudalism in Earth Observation (EO) data. I thank the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) and Data Values initiative for inviting us to write this article. 
More details at 
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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