Scholarly and Scientific Societies Defend Science

February 21, 2017 The Wiley Network

shutterstock_210042937_391355707_391355708_256224451.jpgA couple of days after the release of the executive order banning travel to the US from people living in seven Muslim-majority countries, I was sitting in a meeting with some society leaders. We were talking about publication strategy for the society’s journals, and, while the agenda didn’t directly address the political landscape, it was impossible to have a conversation about the future of the society’s research communication efforts without touching on it. At one point in the meeting, one of the participants said something like, “We just need to spend some time thinking through how to respond. It does feel like there is an attack on science that’s sharpening, and we need to find our voice to defend it.”

In a remarkably short amount of time, the scholarly and scientific society community clearly found its voice. And the community’s defense of science has been full-throated.

Fast forward another couple of days, and my colleagues and I were losing hours of our work day swapping links to some of our society partners’ public statements in support of science and talking about the points they were making. We have been so energized by their efforts and so proud of the work that we do to help them spread knowledge, advance science and scholarship, and expand the community of people committed to science and scholarship.

Here is a small sample of the things we’ve heard from our partners and other members of the scholarly and scientific society community: “The study of the Earth and space sciences has no borders,” “[we are] dedicated to making the world safe for cultural differences,” “science benefits from the free expression and exchange of ideas,” “the US enjoys its leadership role in science and technology in part because the world’s best and brightest bring their talents here to be a part of US scholarship and innovation,” and “inclusion and respect for diverse people, religions, cultures, and ideas are at the very core of our work.”

The leadership of the scientific and scholarly society community in defense of science inspires all of us. Last week, our CEO, Mark Allin, added Wiley’s voice to the discussion: “At Wiley, we remain committed to working alongside our partners to explore all avenues to truth and to protect global interconnectedness, robust independent science and diversity in all forms.”

My colleagues and I are planning a number of initiatives and resources that we hope will be useful to the community in supporting our shared values. We thought one simple way to do that in the meantime is to begin a thread that brings together all of the statements that we can find from the society community in defense of science and scholarship.

If you’re still finding your voice, the list below might provide some inspiration. If you’ve already made a statement and we don’t have it below, please do add it in the comments field. And, whatever approach you’re adopting to communicating your views, thank you for everything you’re doing. Your work makes the world better, and we all appreciate it.

Scholarly and scientific societies’ statements:

American Anthropological Association

American Ethnological Association

American Geophysical Union

American Statistical Association

Computing Research Association

American Philosophical Association

American Historical Association

International Association of Cryptologic Research

American Academy of Religion

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

Image credit: 06photo/Shutterstock


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