Education: Ready to Say No

Federal research money is flowing into U.S. universities and university-related laboratories at the rate of about $1 billion a year—roughly one-quarter of their total income. One beneficial result is the "new life" stirring in university laboratories, says Harvard's President Nathan M. Pusey in the Harvard Alumni Bulletin. What worries Pusey (and other educators) is the danger of federal interference. Government agencies, warns Harvard's chief, show "an increasing desire to say how things are to be done in laboratories, and who may or may not appear in them."

A prickly instance is the "disclaimer affidavit"—a negative loyalty oath—that students must sign to...

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