LEAD’S HIDDEN TOLL
Trump’s budget would cut at least $4.7 billion from programs at HUD and the EPA that support healthy housing and lead pollution cleanup efforts, a Reuters analysis found
(from the Reuters article link above – near the bottom of the article – well worth reading)
A.A.A.S. Declares for Intellectual Freedom – 1934
(from Science News reprint 04-21-2017)
A.A.A.S. Declares For Intellectual Freedom – 1934
A firm, outspoken protest upon such inroads upon intellectual independence as are being made in Germany and other parts of the world today was one of the most important results of the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at Boston.
The resolution adopted by this principal organization of the nation’s scientists will also be read with significance in some parts of our country where with less openness and without a flying of banners of oppression damaging curtailments of intellectual freedom have been made.
Headed “A Declaration On Intellectual Freedom,” the pronouncement reads:
“The American Association for the Advancement of Science feels grave concern over persistent and threatening inroads upon intellectual freedom which have been made in recent times in many parts of the world.
“Our existing liberties have been won through ages of struggle and at enormous costs. If these are lost or seriously impaired there can be no hope of continued progress in science, of justice in government, of international or domestic peace, or even of lasting material well-being.
“We regard the suppression of independent thought and of its free expression as a major crime against civilization itself. Yet oppression of this sort has been inflicted upon investigators, scholars, teachers and professional men in many ways, whether by governmental action, administrative coercion, or extra-legal violence. We feel it our duty to denounce all such actions as intolerable forms of tyranny.
“There can be no compromise on this issue for even the commonwealth of learning cannot endure ‘half slave and half free.’
“By our life and training as scientists and by our heritage as Americans we must stand for freedom.”
Science News Letter, January 13, 1934
Reprinted online at Science News 04-21-2017
(Below this article from 1938 is the manifesto that was signed by these scientists and which very well applies today against the current war on science happening from the Trump and GOP administration in power both in the Federal government and in the majority of state governorships and many state legislatures.)
Group of Scientists Issue Anti-Fascist Manifesto – 1938
Three Nobel Prize Winners, 64 Academicians, and 85 College Presidents Among the 1,284 Signers
Counting among its 1,284 signers, three Nobel prize winners, 64 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 85 college presidents, a ringing denunciation of Nazi and Fascist attacks on scientific freedom was issued by a committee of distinguished American men of science.
“We publicly condemn the Fascist position toward science . . . . In the present historical epoch democracy alone can preserve intellectual freedom,” the manifesto states.
Citing ruthless Nazi persecution of scientists – 1600 teachers and scientists had been driven from their posts by the fall of 1936 – the manifesto asserts that “any attack upon freedom of thought in one sphere, even as non-political a sphere as theoretical physics is in effect an attack on democracy itself.”
Persecution of Jews and “racial” theories of science, publication of one of which furnishes the occasion for this document, are condemned in no uncertain terms. “The racial theories which they (the Fascists) advocate have been demolished time and again.”
The three Nobel prize winners who are among the signers are Dr. Irving Langmuir, associate director of the General Electric Research Laboratory and chemistry prize winner in 1932; Prof. Robert A. Millikan, director of the Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics, California Institute of Technology and 1923 physics award recipient; and Prof. Harold C. Urey, Columbia University physical chemist honored with the 1923 chemistry prize for the discovery of heavy hydrogen.
The signers, who represent 167 universities and research institutes through the country, pledge themselves to bend their efforts to prevent themselves or America from suffering a similar fate.
The sponsoring committee and the list of signers itself are studded with the names of the noted figures of American science, including many present and former presidents of leading scientific societies. Among the signers and a member of the sponsoring committee is Prof. Wesley C. Mitchell, Columbia University economist who is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Prof. Franz Boas, former president of the AAAS and the dean of American anthropologists, is a member of the sponsoring committee, as is Prof. Urey. Others on the committee are Prof. Karl M. Bowman of New York University and director of the division of psychiatry of the New York City Department of Hospitals; Dr. John P. Peters of Yale University and secretary of the Committee of Physicians which has been battling the American Medical Association on behalf of group medical care. Dr. Henry E. Sigerist, director of Johns Hopkins University’s Institute of the History of Medicine; Prof. D. J. Struik, Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematician and editor of “Science and Society”; and Dr. Milton C. Winternitz, professor of pathology and former dean of the Yale Medical School.
Besides those named above, some of the prominent signers include Dr. Karl T. Compton, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Prof. Anton J. Carlson, University of Chicago physiologist; Prof. Clark Wissler, Yale University anthropologist and curator-in-chief of the department of anthropology at the American museum of Natural History; Prof. Edwin G. Conklin of Princeton, past president of the AAAS and president of Science Service; and Prof. Walter B. Cannon of Harvard, co-chairman of the Medical Bureau and north American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy.
Science News Letter, December 24, 1938
From Science News 04-21-2017
Manifesto by 1,284 Noted U.S. Scientists Denounces Racialism, Fascist Position on Science
December 11, 1938
NEW YORK (Dec. 9)
The fascist position toward science and the racial theory were denounced today in a manifesto signed by 1,284 American scientists, including three Nobel prize winners, which summoned their colleagues to the defense of democracy to avoid the fate of scientists in totalitarian states.
The manifesto was made public by a committee of prominent scientists headed by Prof. Franz Boas, dean of American anthropologists, who said. “The present outrages in Germany have made it all the more necessary for American scientists to take a firm anti-fascist stand. We are sure that the great majority of German scientists and the German people as a whole abhor fascism. The thousands of teachers and scientists who have been exiled since Hitler came to power bear testimony to the incompatibility of Fascism and science.”
“Our manifesto,” Dr. Boas Added, “declares that we scientists have the moral obligation to educate the American people against all false and unscientific doctrines, such as the racial nonsense of the Nazis. The agents of fascism in this country are becoming more and more active, and we must join with all men of good will in defending democracy today if we are to avoid the fate of our colleagues in Germany, Austria and Italy.
The other members of the committee making public the manifesto are professors Karl M. Bowman, New York University psychiatrist; Wesley Clair Mitchell, Columbia University economist; John P. Peters, Yale University medical scientist; Dr. Henry E. Sigerisy, John Hopkins University medical scientist; D. J. Struik, Massachusetts institute of technology mathematician; Harold C. Urey and Milton C. Winternitz, Yale Pathologist.
UREY, MILLIKAN, LANGMUIR AMONG SIGNERS
The three Nobel Prize winners signing the manifesto are prof. Urey, Columbia University chemist; Prof. Robert A. Millikan, California institute of technology physicist, and Dr. Irving Langmuir, chemist. The signers include 64 members of the National Academy of Sciences.
The manifesto follows:
“In an article entitled ‘the pragmatic and dogmatic spirit in physics,’ which appeared in the April 30 issue of nature (with strong editorial disapproval), wide publicity is given to the official nazi position on science and scientific research. In essence, the article is an attack on all theoretical physics, and, by obvious implication, on scientific theory in general. It introduces the official racialism of the Nazis to divide physicists into good, i.e. non-theoretical and ‘Aryan,’ and bad, i.e., theoretical and Jewish. Similar notions have appeared in many popular magazines and scientific journals in Germany, in the addresses and writings of the Minister of education, of university rectors and deans, of scientists and non-scientists. apart from racial theories, furthermore, science and art are subject to ruthless political censorship. These ideas have found concrete expression in the dismissal and persecution of over 1,600 teachers and scientists (By the fall of 1936) from German Universities and research institutes (and now Austria and Italy too), and in the restriction of higher education to students having the ‘proper’ political and racial qualifications.
GOAL OF SCIENCE STRESSED
“American scientists, trained in a tradition of intellectual freedom, hold fast to their conviction, that, in the words of the resolution adopted by the American association for the Advancement of Science, ‘Science is wholly independent of national boundaries and races and creeds and can flourish only when there is peace and intellectual freedom.’ If science, to quote the AAAS resolution again, is to ‘continue to advance and spread more abundantly its benefits to all mankind — and who can attack that goal — then the man of science has a moral obligation to fulfill. He must educate the people against the acceptance of all false and unscientific doctrines which appear before them in the guise of science, regardless of their origin. only in that way can he insure those conditions of peace and freedom which are essential for him and for the progress of all mankind.
“It is in this light that we publicly condemn the fascist position towards science. The racial theories which they advocate have been demolished time and again. We need only point to the work of Heinrich hertz in physics, fritz Haber and Richard Willstatter in chemistry, Ludwig Traube, Paul Ehrlich, and August Wassermann in biology and medicine, all German Jews and all empirical scientists. The charge that theory leads ‘to a crippling of experimental research’ is tantamount to a denial of the whole history of modern physics. From Copernicus and Kepler on, all the great figures in western science have insisted, in deed or in word, upon the futility of experimental research divorced from theory.
“We firmly believe that in the present historical epoch democracy alone can preserve intellectual freedom. Any attack upon freedom of thought in one sphere, even as non-political a sphere as theoretical physics, is in effect an attack on democracy itself. When men like James Franck, Albert Einstein, or Thomas Mann may no longer continue their work, whether the reason is race, creed, or belief, all mankind suffers the loss. they must be defended in their right to speak the truth as they understand it. If we American scientists wish to avoid a similar fate, if we wish to see the world continue to progress and prosper, we must bend our efforts to that end now.”