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the problem or the solution, as well as new opportunities to bring together the disparate activities of the National Research Council, currently parceled out under agriculture, development, population, nutrition, and the like. None of these initial acts may prove satisfactory, neither as- suaging our conscience nor tapping our creativity. ~ am not overly troubled by this prospect. If we have learned anything in the last 10 years, it is that there is not really efficacious response to enormous evil or injustice, but only the lighting of candies rather that the curs- ing of the darkness. It will be enough if we begin to think and then learn to act as if human rights don't end with liberty, but begin with it. COMM1 :NTS Walter Rosenblith I am not telling you anything when ~ tell you that ~ find it difficult to follow Professor Mohamed's moving account and Professor Kates's look to the future of universal rights and the role that the academy should and needs to play in that regard. Maybe ~ should spare you altogether my remarks and let you address my two colleagues, but which professor has ever been able to do this? (Laughter) The National Academy of Sciences is a symbol of the interna- tional nature and character of science. One-fifth, at least, of its membership was born, as we call it today, "offshore. (Laughter) The annual meeting has, in the past four years, started with a symposium of a day and a half on issues of nuclear war and arms control. So it was last Saturday and Sunday. The topic dealt with the issues of the day, with the problems and the hopes for potential deep cuts in nuclear weapons arrays. These issues, like those of human rights, are not issues in which benefits of the moral behavior of scientists can be easily quantified in cost/benefit terms. They are more in what our forebears might have called the nature of a tithe, of an ethical imperative. We owe it to the people who live with these issues and Professor Mohamed has demonstrated that most vividly not to scatter our shots and to be
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as as effective as we can be with respect to this epidemic, because it is . - an epl' emlc. We should find ways, and that is probably the most difficult thing for a body such as the academy and I speak not only to members, but also to our guests to find ways to not be satisfied with high-sounding declarations. ~ think what this committee has evolved over the last 10 years is a modus operandi, a way of involving itself in issues where the outcome is in some ways like those in research, uncertain, and yet the members of the committee and the thousand-odd (and some of them are very odd, like myself) correspondents contribute not as professionals but as semi-amateurs, semi-pros. But they contribute because there is a kin of coDeagueship that science uniquely brings about. Our colleague, Professor Mohamed, has drawn for us the horrible crimes of repression, of apartheid. In particular, ~ have been impressed with the fact that the overwhelming majority of the young has no access to the education that will allow them to become involved meaningfully in the life of the mind, of which science is a part. He has brought us up short by asking us the uncomfortable question, What does scientific or academic freedom mean in a racist society? Or, for that matter, in societies in which minorities or even majorities, even South Africa, or in many countries, women, are being exclucled in a most basic and radical way from the very institutions in which science lives and flourishes as one of the exquisite endeavors of humankind. We do not need to remind ourselves, especially after what my colleague, Professor Kates, has said, of what people call the basic human needs. But if we as an academy look towards the role that science and technology is playing in changing the human environ- ment, in changing the globe, in changing our society, can we omit the right to education both as a human need and as a human right? Can we find, as the committee has over the past decade, a way of asserting our impact, whatever it be, in that area? ~ am not arguing, obviously, against what you said. Obviously, this is not the occasion to discuss the history and the alternate strategies and tactics that human rights advocates have developed in defense of those colleagues whose human rights have been violated. And we must defend those colleagues. Who defends those who do not have the right to become colleagues? That seems to me a question that is perhaps pedagogical, others might say political, and