Corporate Cowards

Oddjob passes on this article from the Telegraph, which reports that an exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York celebrating the life of Charles Darwin has failed to find a corporate sponsor “because American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution.”

The entire $3 million (£1.7 million) cost of Darwin, which opened at the American Museum of Natural History in New York yesterday, is instead being borne by wealthy individuals and private charitable donations…

While the Darwin exhibition has been unable to find a business backer - unlike previous exhibitions at the museum - the Creationist Museum near Cincinnati, Ohio, which takes literally the Bible's account of creation, has recently raised $7 million in donations.

The outbreak of corporate cold feet has shocked New York's intellectuals. "It is a disgrace that large companies should shy away from such an important scientific exhibition," said a trustee of another prominent museum in the city, who was told of the exhibition's funding problem by a trustee of the AMNH.
Shameful. The AMNH is understandably hesitant to release the names of the corporations who were approached and decided not to sponsor the exhibit, not wanting to burn bridges to future donations, thus allowing the corporate cowards to avoid criticism and potential boycotts.

Playing Switzerland in the war to save scientific integrity in America is not only cowardly, but bad business, as America steadily falls further behind in graduating scientists, social scientists, and engineers—exactly the kinds of people who help design and develop the products, production tools, and marketing strategies upon business is dependent. That corporations are willing to essentially give up on America’s future generations is indicative of their increasing dependence on globalization. And therein lies the fundamental problem with treating corporations like individuals, and favoring them over the worker—corporations are not patriotic. They don’t care where they operate, and as soon as doing business in America isn’t as cost-effective as doing business somewhere else, they’ll leave without hesitation.

Take a moment and consider that future: an ill-educated American workforce, a brain drain, and corporations leaving in droves, to go where the new technologies, new ideas, and cutting-edge science is—places where politics didn’t trump progress. A dire future indeed, and the future is upon us.

(Oddjob hat tips Raw Story.)

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