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On the Relation of Investigating Committees to Academic and Scientific Freedom

Author: SPSSI Council; Source: Newsletter, May, 1954

Position Statement: “SPSSI encourages scientists in their adherence to the principle of freedom and independence of thought, speech and scientific investigation. SPSSI will support any of its members whose adherence to this principle brings them under attack.

SPSSI respects the rights of individuals who refuse to divulge their political and religious beliefs and lawful associations. The wisdom of recourse to the Fifth Amendment may be questioned, and one may perhaps even question the legality of appealing to this Amendment as a means of maintaining the privacy of one's beliefs or associations. Nevertheless, SPSSI does not regard such recourse as in itself sufficient to deprive a member of the Society's support. Such support will be given provided that SPSSI has no reason to question his professional integrity.

Recognizing that an individual in taking such action may expose himself to severe consequences as to professional employment, SPSS obligates itself to help a SPSSI member retain or regain professional employment lost as a result of such a stand.”