Aniruddha — Academics boycott US academic orgs

Topic(s): Dissent? | Comments Off on Aniruddha — Academics boycott US academic orgs

Here’s a longish exchange of e-mails starting (at the bottom) with Israeli
academic Daniel Amit’s letter to the American Physical Society; The top
letter is by an Indian Institute of Technology mathematician.
Aniruddha Das
Dear Colleagues,
After considerable thought I have just taken a certain step…the
email below explains it all
———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 15:52:23 +0530 (IST)
From: Shobha Madan
To: ams@ams.org, mathrev@ams.org
Subject: Membership withdrwal
Dear Sir,
With this communication, I wish to withdraw my membership to the
Mathematical Society, and I will not review any more papers for
Mathematical Reviews.(there are no reviews pending with me).
I have wanted to do this for some time, but was not able to express my
reasons clearly enough. Meanwhile I have just read an exchange of
in which Prof Daniel Amit has put into words my feelings at this moment
time. I have taken the liberty of attaching the letters in this exchange
verbatim in order to communicate my own reasons for withdrawal.
I have no protest against any individual human beings anywherein the
world, even with disagreements, but I do not wish to be a member of, nor
contribute to, and American Organization.
Shobha Madan
Dr. Daniel Amit
Univ. di Roma, La Sapienza
Ple Aldo Moro 2
00185 Roma, ITALY
Electronic URL-Download Referral from Physical Review E
Code: EA8932
Title: Transitions in oscillatory dynamics of two connected neurons with
excitatory synapses
Received 08 January 2003
Dear Dr. Amit:
We would appreciate your review of this manuscript, which has been
submitted to Physical Review E. This message is the COMPLETE REFERRAL.
No hardcopy will be sent unless requested.
From: “Daniel Amit”
To: “Physical Review E”

Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 6:11 PM
Subject: Re: Review_request AMIT EA8932 Roudi
I will not at this point correspond with any american institution.
Some of us have lived through 1939.
Daniel Amit
From: "martin blume"
To: ;
Subject: your email to the American Physical Society
Date: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 10:31 PM
Dear Dr. Amit,
We have received your email with your decision not to review a paper for
us in light of American actions in the middle east. We recognize that
reviewing manuscripts is a voluntary activity, one that you perform as a
service to the physics community, and we thank you for your efforts.
Given the voluntary nature of your participation we of course respect
your decision to cease, and have made an indication in our database so
that no further papers will be sent to you for review until you inform
us otherwise.
We ask, however, that you consider the following in hopes that in the
not too distant future you will decide to review for us again.
We regard science as an international enterprise and we do our best to
put aside political disagreements in the interest of furthering the
pursuit of scientific matters. We have never used other than scientific
criteria in judging the acceptability of a paper for publication,
without regard to the country of origin of the author.
We have done this even in cases where some of us have disagreed strongly
with the policies of that country, and we will continue this practice.
We believe it is essential that all parties involved make every effort
to separate social and political differences from their participation in
scientific research and publication. The pursuit of scientific knowledge
needs to transcend such issues.
Martin Blume
From: "Daniel Amit"
To: "martin blume"
Date: Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Dr Blume, Editor in Chief
American Physical Society
Dear Dr Blume
Thank you for you letter of April 8. I would have liked to be able to
share the honorable sentiments you express in your letter as well as
your optimism in the future role of science and the scientific
community. To be frank, and with much sadness and pain, after 40 years
of activity and collaboration, I find very little reason for such
What we are watching today, I believe, is a culmination of 10-15 years
of mounting barbarism of the American culture the world over, crowned by
the achievements of science and technology as a major weapon of mass
destruction. We are witnessing man hunt and wanton killing of the type
and scale not seen since the raids on American Indian populations, by a
superior technological power of inferior culture and values. We see no
corrective force to restore the insanity, the self-righteousness and the
lack of respect for human life (civilian and military) of another race.
Science cannot stay neutral, especially after it has been so cynically
used in the hands of the inspectors to disarm a country and prepare it
for decimation by laser guided cluster bombs. No, science of the
American variety has no recourse. I, personally, cannot see myself
anymore sharing a common human community with American science.
Unfortunately, I also belong to a culture of a similar spiritual
deviation (Israel), and which seems to be equally incorrigible.
In desperation I cannot but turn my attention to other tragic periods in
which major societies, some with claims to fundamental contributions to
culture and science, have deviated so far as to be relegated to
ostracism and quarantine. At this point I think American society should
be considered in this category. I have no illusions of power, as to the
scope and prospect of my attitude.
But, the minor role of my act and statement is a simple way of
affirming that in the face of a growing enormity which I consider
intolerable, I will exercise my own tiny act of disobedience to be able
to look straight into the eyes of my grandchildren and my students and
say that I did know.
With regard
Daniel Amit
PS I intend to distribute our exchange as much as possible. I authorize
and pray that you do the same.