McGill’s de-militarized zone: Will new research guidelines give peace a chance?

By Peggy Curran, University City, the Montreal Gazette online

A brigade of McGill students are calling on the university to give peace a chance.

They are threatening to kick up a stink this week when the university senate sits down to weigh  its proposed revamp of research guidelines – measures which were already in the works, by the way, before this fall’s ghostwriting scandal involving senior psychology professor Barbara Sherwin.

Members of Demilitarize McGill are troubled by proposed changes outlined in Regulation on the Conduct of Research, particularly the decision to remove a section which required the university to report any research which received military funding, and the insertion of a clause which would allow the sponsor of research to remain anonymous.

“The new policy is very regressive and stands to erase 25 years of student activism against military research at McGill,” says Cleve Higgins of Demilitarize McGill.

McGill amended the Regulations on Research Policy in 1988 to include sections dealing with research projects funded by a military agency in the wake of a six-day occupation of administration offices to protest the use of U.S. military funds by  McGill professors researching explosives.

McGill’s position is spelled out in this senate document.

Discussion on the new research guidelines is scheduled to take place Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. in Room 232 of the Leacock building.

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