American Sociological Association: Letter to the Federal Prosecutor

We just received a letter of support from the governing council of the American Sociological Association, representing over 14.000 sociologists in the USA and internationally. Pay special attention to the resolution near the end.

Der Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof
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Der Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof
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We write on behalf of the governing Council of the American Sociological Association (ASA), the national organization for sociologists in the United States with over 14,000 members who are faculty members of colleges and universities, researchers, practitioners and students in the United States and internationally.

As a scientific society dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good, the ASA and its elected leadership are vitally concerned with the academic freedom and scientific integrity of sociologists and other social scientists whenever and wherever they are engaged in professional and scientific work. The ASA Council has spoken frequently in support of academic freedom and human rights, and it regularly addresses concerns raised by members of the Association about scholars they believe are imperiled by governments or their agents in possible violation of academic freedom.

At its August 15, 2007, meeting in New York City, at the American Sociological Association’s 102nd Annual Meeting which was attended by over 6,000 North American and international scholars, the Council’s attention was drawn to the situation of Dr. Andrej H. and other German scholars and researchers recently accused or under threat of accusation by German authorities.

We would like to bring to your attention the following ASA Council statement. This statement reflects this Association’s position regarding fundamental principles that underlie the protection of academic freedom and the integrity of scientific research that should be respected by all governments that value the free pursuit of scholarship and scientific knowledge that is essential to the advancement of open and democratic societies.

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Resolution of the 2007-2008 Council of the American Sociological Association Meeting in New York City on August 15, 2007

The Council of the American Sociological Association categorically rejects the use by governments or their agents of scholarly concepts, writings, or field research contacts as the basis upon which to monitor, detain, or incarcerate social science scholars and researchers. It condemns the use of social science scholarship, concepts, and research contacts to generate criminal suspicion or accusation as a gross violation of the principle of academic freedom and the integrity of scientific practice. 

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Arne Kalleberg, PhD
President, American Sociological Association
Kenan Distinguished Professor and Director of International Programs
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Sally T. Hillsman, PhD
Executive Officer, American Sociological Association

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