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[Susan notes: Now this letter packs a punch. The Times did not identify the writer as affiliated with Harvard.]

Published in New York Times Magazine
11/30/2003

To the editor



There's a Sucker Born in Every Medial Prefrontal Cortex



While it is certainly not illegal for neuroscientists to help corporations market their wares, it is unseemly and, in my view, unethical (Clive Thompson, Oct. 26). Neuroscientists are professionals whose training and basic research is largely financed by public sources. They receive ample compensation and prestige because of their presumed service to society: a better understanding of the brain, with eventual applications to health and education. When they focus on enriching themselves and their sponsor corporations, they abandon their calling; they enter the ranks of advertising and marketing, and come close to joining the oldest profession: prostitution.



Howard Gardner, Cambridge, MA


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