Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Minerva - NSF/DoD Joint Solicitation

NSF recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the DoD, allowing collaboration between the two agencies, and has just announced a joint solicitation for proposals in the tune of $8 million. The stated goals of the program are “1) to develop the DoD’s social and human science intellectual capital in order to enhance its ability to address future challenges; 2) to enhance the DoD’s engagement with the social science community; and 3) to deepen the understanding of the social and behavioral dimensions of national security issues.”

Although we are pleased with NSF's involvement in Minerva, additional clarification is needed about the extent of DoD's role in the selection and review process. AAA is also concerned that only a portion of Minerva funding is being routed through NSF.

Share your thoughts on Minerva in our comment section below.


Links:

AAA letter regarding Minerva [pdf]

"Military's Social Science Grants Raise Alarm" ~ Washington Post

"When Professors Go to War" ~ Hugh Gusterson

"Pentagon Shift on 'Minerva'" ~ Inside Higher Ed

"Anthropology Association Urges Government to Tread Cautiously With 'Minerva' Project" ~ The Chronicle of Higher Education

"Academics Target Pentagon's Social Science Project" ~ Wired's Danger Room,

"AAA Issues Statement on Minerva" ~ Savage Minds

DoD Defense Bloggers Roundtable Regarding Minerva [pdf]

38 comments:

Pamthropologist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamthropologist said...

Reposting with editing:

Are we supposed to be pleased by the "transparency" of the co-option of our discipline?

I attended Graduate School on a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, a title VI program that at that time was placed squarely under the auspices of the Department of Education, after a history of connection with a military and political cold war agenda. Doing away with loyalty oaths, the funding was turned over to universities who retained full control of the dispersal of that money. The only stipulations were that they be granted for language and geographic area studies.

Ironically, political attacks of "anti-Americanism have been leveled against Title VI institutions and programs, such that true scholars must be made to defend their objectivity. See the following, for example.

http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/1168
(Aside: Jane Guyer's name is mispelled.)

Money given by the DoD with pre-determined value-laden, agenda-driven strings is a compromise to the goals of our discipline and will compromise the ability of independent scholars to earn the trust and good relations required for true ethnographic research. Shame. Shame. Shame.

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