So They Say

Verbatim excerpts from the media on the conduct of science. Political Power Play When professors play politics, the bitterness is often inversely proportional to the stakes. That was the case when some scientists recently denied Prof. Samuel Huntington of Harvard membership in the National Academy of Sciences. Actually, Huntington's vocation, properly pursued, makes him unsuited to the academy as it evidently wants to be understood. And his civic virtue would make him uncomfortable in the academ

The Scientist Staff
Jun 14, 1987
Verbatim excerpts from the media on the conduct of science.

Political Power Play

When professors play politics, the bitterness is often inversely proportional to the stakes. That was the case when some scientists recently denied Prof. Samuel Huntington of Harvard membership in the National Academy of Sciences.

Actually, Huntington's vocation, properly pursued, makes him unsuited to the academy as it evidently wants to be understood. And his civic virtue would make him uncomfortable in the academy as it is currently composed.

Huntington, a political scientist who understands the irreducibly philosophical nature of his vocation, should be content to leave the academy to the "hard" scientists whose vocations, although dignified, are different. However, the academy, by the undignified political bigotry that was a component of its action against Huntington, calls into question its fitness, and that of its subordinate organization, the National Research Council, to receive public funds for research projects...

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