This essay is reproduced here as it appeared in the print edition of the original Science for the People magazine. These web-formatted archives are preserved complete with typographical errors and available for reference and educational and activist use. Scanned PDFs of the back issues can be browsed by headline at the website for the 2014 SftP conference held at UMass-Amherst. For more information or to support the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Resolutions for the AAA$
By AAA$ Action ‘70 Resolutions Committee
Three resolutions are being presented to the AAAS governing board to be voted upon at the annual meeting in Chicago on December 26th-30th. They were mailed to the committee on Council Affairs on November 23rd — one month in advance, as required to be put on their agenda.
Last year, three similar resolutions were circulated among persons attending the annual AAAS meeting, and each collected several hundred signatures. The governing board of the AAAS nevertheless refused to consider them.
Together we may conceive of amendments or additional resolutions to be proposed for inclusion in the agenda. For example, the Boston group is presently considering demands for (1) democratic representation for all scientific workers in the AAAS decision making and (2) institutional protection of scientific workers from economic reprisals resulting from their social and political action.
Consider these as working-draft resolutions. Discuss them with your fellow workers. Send or bring your suggestions to Chicago (% Larry Lambert, Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, Ill. 60637; tel (312) N07-4700). Circulate them where you work and help to obtain wide support in Chicago up to the last day of the AAAS meeting when the HIGHER officers of the association sit in deliberation and pronounce their VOTE. Active support for the resolutions by a large number of scientific workers is at least as important as their endorsement by the governing board.
Action is necessary to close the gap between the pronouncements and the practices of the scientific community. These resolutions propose action in behalf of the best long-range interests of all the people including scientific workers. Because the resolutions are reasonable, practical, consistent with the frequently enunciated principles of the AAAS and with the best tradition of social responsibility in science, we expect endorsement from all who are truly committed to “the promotion of human welfare.”
In the last analysis, the community of scientific workers and their organizations must be judged by their practice. The time for action is now.
ON POLITICAL REPRESSION
Whereas many Americans are exercising their privilege as free citizens in working together to change the oppressive social and economic system in which we live;
and whereas the institutional powers react to this by mobilizing public opinion through appeals to fear and prejudice by proposing yet more repressive legislation, by jailing political dissenters and by killing blacks, Chicanos and students;
and whereas the scientific community — through its leaders, administrators and spokesmen, under the banner ” science is neutral ” — is courted, menaced and/ or bought off by the large corporations, the U.S. government and its thousand agencies into serving the cause of the privileged and the oppressors;
and whereas in particular scientific workers have been among those arrested, black-listed, fired, discriminated against in hiring and promotion and otherwise harassed for exercising their rights to the free expression of their political beliefs;
It is time for the AAAS to act to the best of its ability. in accordance with its stated goals. to promote human welfare and further the work of scientists.
Therefore be it resolved:
1) That the AAAS establish a committee of scientists and victims of repression to look into the activities of scientists in connection with the police, military, intelligence, and other repressive agencies in such areas as wiretaps, surveillance, data banks. riot control and weapons development. This committee will report to the public facts and figures concerning contracts. development and specific uses of these instruments of political and social repression
2) That the AAAS establish a fund to help. protect and secure the liberties of the victims of such repression. In particular, the committee should consider immediately the cases of scientists and academics, such as Prof. William Davidon (Haverford College),Dr. Curtis Powell (Panther 21). Prof. Charles Schwartz (Berkeley), Prof. Angela Davis (UCLA) as well as non-scientists such as the Soledad Brothers and the many black and white victims of repression presently illegitimately incarcerated or threatened.
3) That the AAAS take a public stand condemning the pending Defense Facilities and Industrial Securities Act and similar legislation, not only because of the threat it represents to the scientific world, but because it is an integral part of the larger repression against which the AAAS commits itself to struggling in this resolution.
ON THE INDOCHINA WAR
Whereas one of the purposes of the AAAS is “to improve the effectiveness of science in the promotion of human welfare”;
and whereas the government of the United States exerts great effort toward improving the effectiveness of science in the suppression of struggles for liberation at home and abroad;
and whereas the current policy of the government of the United States is a formula for the indefinite prolongation of the war and the continuing destruction of the people of Indochina.
Therefore be it resolved that the AAAS demonstrate its commitment to human welfare by communicating to the President of the United States a demand for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. men, women, and material from Indochina.
ON WOMEN IN SCIENCE
Whereas the objectives of the AAAS cannot be realized while women in science are relegated to second-class status;
Therefore be it resolved that the AAAS demonstrate its commitment to its own objectives by endorsing the eight demands incorporated in the statement on equality for women in science. [printed in the August issue of Science for the people]