I've so far avoided taking part in the revitalization effort, chiefly because I think that should be left to a new generation. Now I've taken the time to read through the valiant efforts at a new mission statement, and for what little my thoughts are worth, here they are:
I agree with Carol and some others—brevity is better than a prolonged and inevitably argumentative attempt.
I've always disliked both the name "Science for the People" and the logo of the white hand (of science?) handing over the white flask to the red fist (of the people?). They are both too simplistic, implying that "the People" as such means something and that science is both monolithic and pure. But annoying as these oversimplifications were, they were succinct and provided a general idea, which was mostly enough.
We know, surely, that the history of science has been tied into capitalism, militarism and imperialism in very deep ways. It can't even be imagined without those. But at the same time, we can't hope to survive today without the fruits of science, nor should we want to try. It is between the horns of that dilemma, I think, that any new SftP must try both to operate and to think. Actually, plenty of other existing organizations try to some extent to work in the same space; a major question should be how SftP (renewed) will strive to identify and work with them.
> On Sep 14, 2015, at 10:01 AM, SftP Revitalization <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated in the conference call yesterday. There was a lot of vigorous and heated discussion focusing on the mission statement, which I believe shows that we care deeply about this effort to revitalize Science for the People. There was also digression that occurred towards the end of the call, that I take personal responsibility for as resulting from lackluster facilitation. I plan on working to develop new facilitation methods for the phone calls over the course of this month, to ensure that all voices on these calls are elevated and empowered (not just people who talk the most frequently, the loudest, or the longest), that new voices are given special priority, and that our calls stay more focused on the tasks at hand. More on that soon.
> As promised, I have compiled a document that contains all of the drafts and revisions of the new SftP Mission Statement that has circulated so far. It also contains commentary generated on the listerv concerning these statements. It is attached.
> My hope is that, via email and written communication, we can come to a consensus about what is to become our statement. So please, look through these drafts, and Reply All to this email with your thoughts about which statement(s) resonate the most with your thinking, what is good, what is missing, what is to be avoided, and your thoughts on the purpose of this document. I hope we can generate similar conversation to what occurred when Frank circulated his draft.
> Thanks and solidarity,
> Ben Allen
> *P.S. - If I have somehow missed a draft or some commentary in this file, please let me know.
> <All SftP Mission Statement Drafts and Correspondence.docx>