Math Society Votes Down Funding by SDI, Military

BOSTON--By significant margins, and in surprising numbers, members of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) have voted to oppose the administration’s SDI program and military funding of their discipline. About 7,000 members nearly twice the number that normally vote each year for the society’s officers, cast ballots on one or more of the five resolutions. The first resolution, passed by 57 percent of those who voted, expressed the society’s refusal to lend “a spuriou

Seth Shulman
May 1, 1988
BOSTON--By significant margins, and in surprising numbers, members of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) have voted to oppose the administration’s SDI program and military funding of their discipline. About 7,000 members nearly twice the number that normally vote each year for the society’s officers, cast ballots on one or more of the five resolutions.

The first resolution, passed by 57 percent of those who voted, expressed the society’s refusal to lend “a spurious scientific legitimacy” to the SDI program by endorsing or supporting it. The measure states that the AMS “will lend no support to the Star Wars program” and that "persons representing the AMS shall make no efforts to obtain funding for Star Wars research."

Yale mathematician G.D. Mostow, AMS president, said that the voting "reflects widespread skepticism in the mathematical community about the ability of the SDI program to achieve its stated objectives. It also reflects concern...