Historic Line of Demarcation

There is a historic line of demarcation between academic freedom and national security (albeit fragile). Starting with the veil of secrecy over nuclear research in the 1940s, to the concern over classified research in the 1950s, to the expansion of export controls to include information in the 1970s, to the exclusion of fundamental research from export control in the 1980s, to restrictions introduced Post 9-11 in the 2000s, to current debates over emerging technologies and global innovation, the academic community and the government have each sought opportunities to demarcate the sphere of their respective authority and autonomy and assert themselves in that sphere.[1] There are three key documents that serve as pillars of this demarcation. The first is the Social Contract for Science (“Contract”). In 1945, Vannevar Bush[2] produced a report (commissioned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt)[3] that condensed wartime research lessons into a proposal to justify on-going federal support of science.[4] The Contract spoke to two ends of a spectrum. On the side of science and research (including academia), the Contract argued for a return to freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression for basic research. The Contract believed such a return could release information (hitherto classified) that would be of value to existing societal problems.[5] It also believed that such a return could best advance the frontiers of scientific knowledge for the benefit of society.[6] On the side of the state, the Contract argued that science was an invaluable asset of the state. As such, the state (in the form of the government) should and invest in science for purposes of national defense, economic security, and public health. The second key document is the 1985 presidential directive (i.e., National Security Decision Directive 189 or “Directive”) excluding fundamental research from export controls. It defined fundamental research,[7] granted scientists jurisdiction over fundamental research and reaffirmed government control over proprietary (commercial) research (i.e., it defined non-fundamental research), and excluded fundamental research from any export control[8] to ensure that the U.S. had a research environment that was “conducive to creativity” and one in which “the free exchange of ideas” was possible.[9] The third key document is Ashton Carter’s Department of Defense (“DOD”) Memo on Fundamental Research...

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