Call for boycott over Louisiana's "academic freedom" law
The ASBMB Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place in New Orleans in April 2009. We have longstanding contractual obligations that require us to meet in Louisiana next spring. But I think we need to see to it that no future meeting of our society will take place in Louisiana as long as that law stands, nor should we hold it in any other state (are you listening, Michigan and Texas?) that passes a similar law. And I call upon the presidents of the American Chemical Society, the American Association of Immunologists, the Society for Neuroscience, and all the other scientific societies around the U.S. and the world, to join me in this action and make clear to the state legislators in Louisiana, the governor of the state, and the mayor and business bureau of New Orleans that this will be the consequence.
— Gregory Petsko, “It Is Alive,” President’s Message, pages 3-4, ASBMB Today, August 2008. To read the entire article, select "Pages" in the top bar of the website, then click on pages 3 and 4. Use the slider bar at the side to scroll through the text -- you are likely to lose the page if you try using your keyboard's arrow keys to scroll through the text. The above quote is from page 4.
Such a boycott would be widely seen as an act of desperation and would be likely to backfire.
The Michigan "academic freedom" bill has failed to get out of committee. Texas has no pending "academic freedom" bill but there is now a big controversy going on over whether to retain the "strengths and weaknesses" language in the Texas science standards (see two "Texas controversy" post-label groups in the sidebar of the home page).
Also, the above ASBMB Today issue has a related article, "Acdemic Freedom is a Good Thing, Right?", on pages 10-11. This article erroneously calls the Santorum Amendment "unsuccessful" -- it was not completely unsuccessful, because a modified version of the original Santorum Amendment was added to the Congressional report accompanying the "No Child Left Behind Law."
Labels: Evolution education (new #4)