July 2007


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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 2 Jul 2007 10:43:45 -0500
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Dr. Science wrote:

> On planning AAAS presence, you said, "We should not identify ourselves 
> as SftP or any other organization." My approach to people is to be 
> totally open, not to hide anything. I don't see SftP as any kind of 
> "disciplined" so-called vanguard group trying to worm our way into an 
> influential position in some other organization. If our sympathies are 
> with the radical left we ought to be open about it, in my opinion. There 
> is really nothing to hide.

I agree. This effort should be totally open and transparent like any 
other group who propose and hist sessions.

The Washington Post outed me as an anarchist when I was working at AAAS. 
I worked there for a year after that and I never found that my politics, 
once they were known, were a problem.

There was some anti-activist sentiment among the meetings planning 
staff, but most of those people are no longer there and I found that 
AAAS employees to be mostly good folks. There may be a few who would 
engage in red-baiting, but this would not be very prevalent.

What's more important is coming up with a solid session proposal, backed 
by serious scientists and featuring solid scientists and science. Every 
session proposal will be vetted by a subcommittee for that subject area 
and then discussed by the executive board at a meeting this Fall. The 
executive board is comprised of AAAS officials, meeting staff, elected 
governance (Jabe Lubchenko, Stephen Jay Gould, e.g.) and others. Science 
is the most important factor, followed by the audience drawing power of 
the session.

Of course, if SftP don't want to do a session in 2008, people can always 
have a meeting during the conference. I've done similar 
counter-programming at the American Library Association conference with 
the radical and anarchist librarians.