sunlight is the best disinfectant

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From an observation by Louis Brandeis in Other People's Money And How the Bankers Use It (1914):

"Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman."

Proverb[edit]

sunlight is the best disinfectant

  1. (usually public policy or management) Transparency with respect to the dissemination of information promotes the social acceptance of an idea or institution.
    • 1989 Jan. 5, Phil Berger, "Lawyers Slug It Out In Tyson-Cayton Case," New York Times (retrieved 8 Jan 2016):
      "Sunlight is the best disinfectant," said Puccio in explaining his decision to open the proceeding to reporters.
    • 1999 March 15, Michael Kinsley, "The Trouble with Scoops," Time (retrieved 8 Jan 2016):
      The basic premise of a scoop is that you're bringing important facts to public attention. Your philosophical touchstone is Justice Louis Brandeis' bromide that sunlight is the best disinfectant.
    • 2009 June 21, Catherine Bennett, "No one gains from blowing the cover of this secret policeman," Guardian (UK) (retrieved 8 Jan 2016):
      "Sunlight is the best disinfectant," he said. "We must change our practices and our mindset, moving from a culture of secrecy to one of complete openness and accountability."