The American Sociological Association is closely following the recent events at Trinity College regarding Professor John Eric Williams. ASA, for its more than 100-year existence, has fought for academic freedom and a strong and safe public forum for the dissemination and discussion of ideas. The ability to inject controversial ideas into this forum is paramount to a better understanding of our society and essential to ensuring a robust exchange of ideas on college campuses.
ASA signed on to a letter from the American Association for the Advancement of Science expressing our concerns regarding the Notice of Information Collection under OMB Emergency Review: Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2017.
On May 9, 2017, the American Sociological Association along with 20 other organizations sent a letter to President Trump urging the appointment of a well-credentialed Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Commissioner and urging appropriate BLS funding levels, The BLS is the country’s second largest federal statistical agency and a major producer of the nation’s primary economic indicators.
The ASA signed on to a letter expressing our strong support for, the critical Federal data sources that inform and strengthen our nation’s world-leading economic, educational, democratic. and civic institutions and successes. Our Federal statistical and data systems provide information that is uniquely accurate, objective, relevant, timely, and accessible.
The American Sociological Association signed on to a letter with 287 U.S. business, science and engineering, medical and health, and higher education organizations urging Congress to swiftly complete action on the FY 2017 appropriations process and to include robust investments in scientific research.
The American Sociological Association sent a letter to Hungary’s Minister of Human Capacities expressing our profound concern about proposed legislative changes to the status of Central European University (CEU) in Hungary. Read the letter here.
The American Sociological Association wrote a letter to President Donald Trump to express support for administrative policies on sex segregation that treat transgender students as members of their professed gender for all school-sponsored activities. Specifically, the American Sociological Association recommends the immediate reimplementation of the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education "Dear Colleagues" letter dated May 15th, 2016.
ASA signed on to two letters that opposes restrictions on geospatial and racial disparities data--an Association of American Geographers (AAG) letter and one from Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS). ASA and 26 other prominent national organizations signed on to a letter written by the AAG expressing concerns about proposed bills (Senate Bill 103 and House Bill 482) that could impose restrictions on the use of and access to geospatial data related to racial disparities. The organizations of COPAFS expressed their interest in the following provision in H.R.
NDD United sent a letter on March 1 (available here) signed by 2,000 national, state, and local organizations, including the ASA to Congress, the President, and over 500 members of the media, along with the attached statement in response to the President’s remarks and proposed budget on February 28.
ASA has taken a firm stance against the Executive Order regarding entry into the United States for people from seven majority Muslim countries. We have co-signed, with many of our sister scholarly societies, a statement written by the American Association for the Advancement of Science which argues that scientific progress depends fundamentally on an open exchange of ideas and recognizes that the Executive Order will have the effect of limiting interaction among scholars.
Statement of the American Sociological Association Concerning the New Administration’s Recent and Future Activities
Against the background of events that have unfolded over the last week, we are writing today to let you know that ASA is monitoring events carefully, has responded to some developments already, and will continue to respond in the future. And we welcome and need your help with this effort.
ASA has a long and ongoing history of activity supporting diversity, inclusion, free inquiry, and academic freedom.
ASA President Michèle Lamont recently wrote President Andrzej Duda, Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland criticizing a new Polish law that significantly harms academic freedom. The law punishes those who study Poland's past and reach a well researched conclusion that is opposite to the Polish government's narrative.
Lamont urges that no charges be filed against Professor Gross. Gross has written about Poles complicity in the persecution of Jews during WWII.
The heads of 29 top U.S. scientific and higher-education organizations – including Nancy Kidd, ASA Executive Officer – wrote to President-elect Donald Trump on November 23, urging him to quickly appoint a science adviser.
On November 15, 2016, ASA President Michèle Lamont, sent a letter to MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred on the use of Native American nicknames, logos, and mascots.
ASA along with the British Sociological Association and the Canadian Sociological Association sent a joint letter to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation regarding a troubling situation with the Levada Center.
The American Sociological Association (ASA) recently played a key role in support of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2016 ruling in the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The judgement allowed the university to continue using race as a factor in admissions decisions.
“Scientific research shows that having a diverse student body leads to a number of educational benefits, including a decline in prejudice, improvements in students’ cognitive skills and self-confidence, and better classroom environments,” said ASA Executive Officer Sally T. Hillsman.
ASA recently joined 40 other organizations in a statement to Turkish government officials expressing our deep concern regarding their mass arrests and purges of academics. While the attacks on academic freedoms in Turkey have been ongoing for most of the year, they have become significantly enhanced after the July 2016 attempted coup.
The American Sociological Association (ASA) filed an amicus curiae brief in March, 2015 with the Supreme Court of the United States in the same-sex marriage cases pending before the court. The ASA’s brief highlights the social science consensus that children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well as children raised by different-sex parents.