Approved by the: Faculty Senate - May 2, 2013
Administration - no action required*
Board of Regents - no action required

* The administration believes that it is not necessary to take any administrative action in regard to the Senate Research Committee statement on the National Science Foundation’s ban on specific political science research. The ban has already been under discussion nationally and individual citizens working through their Congressional delegates appears to be the most effective way to influence Congress.

Statement on National Science Foundation Research Ban

The Senate Research Committee, a 21-member standing committee of the University of Minnesota Faculty Senate, strongly objects to the imposition of the Congressional ban on the provision of funding by the National Science Foundation for political science studies of democracy and public policy research. ( Such a prohibition is a violation of America's long-standing respect for academic freedom and free inquiry and is a sinister precedent for possible future prohibition on other kinds of research that certain members of Congress may not like because it does not conform to their particular beliefs. In essence, the Congressionally-mandated ban constitutes de facto censorship, would stymie needed inquiry, and thus deny citizens access to unbiased scientific analysis of key issues facing the country.  We believe, contrary to Congressional action, that research in political science makes a positive contribution to our democracy and to democratic citizenship.

We urge the members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation to move as expeditiously as possible to reverse the prohibition and to take a strong stand against any such prohibitions in the future.

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