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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  May 2002

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE May 2002

Subject:

Re: Gould was a scientist for the people

From:

Herb Fox <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 31 May 2002 15:11:27 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (109 lines)

Hi George, fellow non-notable:
    In my twenties in the process of corresponding with an ambitious young
engineer I provided unpublished results of importance to ongoing research.
Within months he authored a text book in which he published my results
without my permission.  When colleagues aware of my work told me of the
impropriety they were surprised at my amused response.  It seemed to me that
there was much more where that came from and the thief was only revealing
the impovershment of his imagination and creativity.
    You and I know how Science for the People came about and thereby know
also that in spite of singular individual iniatives here and there it was in
essence the product of many imaginations and the labors of many persons.
Here again I would say that the only significant distinction to be made
among both unsung and touted contributors is in respect of how much more
there was to come from them.  As you wrote: "And of course the struggle goes
on."  It is when I find that someone from those ranks is still contributing
her imagination and labor to the struggle that I allow myself a moment of
pride for whatever my own role was in the formation of Science for the
People.
    That you and others continue to imagine a better world and fight for it
is much more important than what we may have contributed to the struggles of
the past.

La lutta continua,
Herb

----- Original Message -----
From: "George Salzman" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, May 31, 2002 2:04 PM
Subject: Gould was a scientist for the people


> Friends,
>
>       Phil Gasper's posting of the Madison Capital Times column by John
> Nichols motivated me to write the following, and made me think about the
> desirability of there being a history of Science for the People.
>
> Subject: Gould was a scientist for the people
> Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 11:50:08 -0600
> From: George Salzman <[log in to unmask]>
> To: John Nichols <[log in to unmask]>
>
> Oaxaca, Friday, May 31, 2002
>
> Dear John Nichols,
>
>       I just read your fine column in The Capital Times about Stephen Jay
> Gould. It got to me via the Science for the People Discussion List. Steve
> Cavrak and I started the list a few years ago, in an effort to revive what
> was earlier a very vibrant group. Generally it's been pretty quiet, but
the
> past couple of weeks brought a storm of postings, many contentious, first
> about evolutionary psychology, and then about Gould. They're all posted on
> the Science for the People Archives at:
> http://list.uvm.edu/archives/science-for-the-people.html
>
>       There's one 'minor' correction I'd like to offer. Where you wrote,
> "Science for the People was the name Gould, Richard Lewontin and their
> allies gave to the magazine and the movement they forged . . .", it
suggests
> that they (certainly among the most prominent members) were core founders.
> In fact, Science for the People, the organization, and the magazine,
Science
> for the People, are more accurately described as the creations of much
less
> notable people. Originally the group was called Scientists and Engineers
for
> Social and Political Action (SESPA), and it was stridently anti-élitist
(at
> least in its rhetoric). I remember "mailing parties" at the office on Main
> Street in Cambridge where Dick Lewontin sometimes showed up to help wrap,
> package, and address bundles of the magazines for bulk mailing, along with
> many other less-recognized-by-the-establishment folks, but in truth I am
not
> aware of Stephen Gould ever participating in any of the grunt work of the
> group. That's not a criticism of him. He made his contributions as he saw
> fit. My point is only that the vitality of that exemplary effort by
Science
> for the People to oppose not only the Vietnam War but all the terrible
> applications of science and technology did not spring from, nor was it
> primarily due to, a few notable scientific "sparkplugs."
>
>       And of course the struggle goes on.
>
> All good wishes, and thanks for a very good column.
> Sincerely,
> George
> ==================================================
> [log in to unmask]
> http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/
>
> Current home address (dirección actual)
> Callejón del Carmen 108-B
> Col. Figueroa C.P.68070
> Oaxaca, Oax. Mexico
>     tel (from U.S. 011-52)-951-516-9539
>
> Home address in U.S. (dirección cuando esté en E.U.A.)
> 12-14 Laurel Street
> Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
>     tel (from Mexico 001)-617-547-5033
>
> Physics Department (generally inactive/dirección inactiva generalmente)
> Univ of Massachusetts
> Boston, MA 02125
>     tel 617-287-6067
>     fax 617-287-6053 (at dept)

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