APS News

Council Deplores Restriction of Non-Classified Science Information

At its meeting in November, the APS Council reaffirmed a statement passed originally in 1983 on the freedom of scientific communication, and added a preamble that specifically pointed out the ill effects of labels like "sensitive but unclassified", which have the potential to expand greatly the restriction of scientific communication. The motion passed by Council, in its entirety, reads:

Restricting exchange of scientific information based on non-statutory administrative policies is detrimental to scientific progress and the future health and security of our nation. The APS opposes any such restrictions, such as those based on the label "sensitive but unclassified", and reaffirms its 1983 statement that:

Whereas the free communication of scientific information is essential to the health of science and technology, on which the economic well-being and national security of the United States depend; and

Whereas it is recognized that the government has the authority to classify and thereby restrict the communication of information bearing a particularly close relationship to national security; and

Whereas members of the American Physical Society have observed the damaging effects on science of attempts to censor unclassified research results;

Be it therefore resolved that the American Physical Society through its elected Council affirms its support of the unfettered communication at the Society's sponsored meetings or in its sponsored journals of all scientific ideas and knowledge that are not classified.

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette