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May 22, 2015

How to Acknowledge Your Funder

Posted by Tom Leinster

A comment today by Stefan Forcey points out ways in which US citizens can try to place legal limits on the surveillance powers of the National Security Agency, which we were discussing in the context of its links with the American Mathematical Society. If you want to act, time is of the essence!

But Stefan also tells us how he resolved a dilemma. Back here, he asked Café patrons what he should do about the fact that the NSA was offering him a grant (for non-classified work). Take their money and contribute to the normalization of the NSA’s presence within the math community, or refuse it and cause less mathematics to be created?

What he decided was to accept the funding and — in this paper at least — include a kind of protesting acknowledgement, citing his previous article for the Notices of the AMS.

I admire Stefan for openly discussing his dilemma, and I think there’s a lot to be said for how he’s handled it.

Posted at May 22, 2015 2:28 PM UTC

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Re: How to Acknowledge Your Funder

Not only that, but it was phrased with exemplary good taste.

Posted by: Todd Trimble on May 22, 2015 8:24 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: How to Acknowledge Your Funder

Thank you. I should add that good taste (less charitably characterized as passive-aggressive) may not always be appropriate. I can easily err on the side of politeness. I think the dividing line is hard to find, but definitely depends on consequences.

Posted by: stefan on May 22, 2015 9:12 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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