99.3 National Security and the Open Conduct of Science

Archived Statement

The Council of the American Physical Society emphasizes the critical connection between U.S. national security and scientific research activities. Effective national security requires the highest standards of vigilance and circumspection, and the science on which it is based must meet the highest standard of excellence. However, national security will ultimately be damaged if the underlying science suffers as a result of government practices that indiscriminately discourage or limit the open exchange of ideas.

The Council of the American Physical Society recognizes the great importance of protecting classified information. We urge Congress and the Executive agencies, in carrying out this responsibility, to employ measures and practices that will maintain the strength and effectiveness of the scientific activities on which national defense relies.

Over the course of many years, immigrant scientists as well as foreign visitors and students have contributed enormously to the American scientific enterprise. They have enriched our knowledge and culture, promoted the growth of our economy, and improved the quality of our lives. Any negative characterization of scientists on the basis of ethnic or national origins is destructive to science and American values.

Adopted by the Council on May 21, 1999
Category: National Policy

APS Statements

APS Statements are public policy statements that undergo a meticulous process of draft and review, including receiving comments from APS members, before being voted on by APS Council at one of its semiannual meetings. The review process for APS statements may be started at anytime if deemed necessary by the Panel on Public Affairs, and at least once every 5 years.