sunlight is the best disinfectant

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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."


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."