AAUP Assaults Science, National Security & Academic Freedom

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has issued a report on “National Security, the Assault on Science, and Academic Freedom” that might leave readers who have studied such matters scratching their heads. “The Trump administration’s alarming hostility to science has exacerbated already troubling threats to academic freedom in the physical and natural sciences in two different areas,” the AAUP states. “In the area of international scientific exchange, Chinese or Chinese American scientists have been targeted and charged with espionage.”

“The second area, the field of climate science, has been subjected to vicious attempts to discredit its validity, which have intensified significantly since Donald Trump took office.”

For openers, the inclusion of academic freedom, while consistent with the AAUP’s traditional mission, is interesting since the group has been somewhat ambivalent about free speech on campus, most notably, for conservatives at Berkeley.

As to the charges of espionage they allude to, the particular case they cite may have yet to be decided but others have. “Today, Xu Jiaqiang, 31, formerly of Beijing, China, pleaded guilty to economic espionage and theft of a trade secret, in connection with Xu’s theft of proprietary source code from Xu’s former employer, with the intent to benefit the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China. Xu pleaded guilty to all six counts with which he was charged,” the U. S. Justice Department announced on May 19, 2017.

As to the reference to the validity of climate science, it should be noted that Michael Mann, who has gone to court repeatedly to block attempts to view his own controversial science, as we have reported over the years, is one of the signatories to the AAUP report. See “hockey stick” and “Hide the decline.”