Friday, August 10, 2007

Alert: Scientist's Arrest Stirs Concern

Marc van Roosmalen

An AP newswire article, via, reports that:

Dutch scientist Marc van Roosmalen's success at combing the Amazon for new monkey species has earned him international acclaim and recognition as one of the world's leading biologists. Time magazine named him one of its "Heroes for the Planet."

Now his work has earned him a more troubling distinction: a nearly 16-year prison sentence. He was jailed in June for nearly two months before a panel of judges freed him on bail Tuesday while he appeals.

Van Roosmalen was convicted of holding an Internet auction for the naming rights of two monkey species he discovered. He planned to use the proceeds to help preserve their habitats. But the court ruled the auction was illegal because van Roosmalen was working at Brazil's National Institute for Amazon Research at the time of the discoveries and said the naming rights belonged to the government.

Van Roosmalen blames the state's powerful logging interests and overzealous environmental regulators for orchestrating his conviction and accuses them of trying to discourage scientific investigation.

More here.

Image source: Michael Astor / AP


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