Lecture: 'Invest in Minds Not Missiles' by Jonathan King
October 25, 2017
UMass Amherst Campus
"Invest in Minds not Missiles: Resisting the Trillion-Dollar Nuclear Weapons Escalation" will be presented by MIT biologist and Science for the People member Jonathan King.
The growth of higher education and university-based scientific research in the U.S. after WWII has been critically dependent on federal investments, voted annually as part of the congressional discretionary budget. In recent years more than 55 percent of this budget—income taxes—has been spent on war and weapon purchase accounts. Recently President Trump proposed more cuts in key programs supporting education and research—including NIH, NSF, EPA, and NOAA—in order to fund a $54 billion increase (~10 percent) in military spending. This will bring the fraction of our tax dollars spent on preparation for war to more than 60 percent of the total congressional budget. Many of the weapons programs—such as the proposed trillion-dollar nuclear weapons “modernization”—are provocative and destabilizing, more likely to decrease national security than increase it. The excessive costs will greatly weaken programs addressing social needs. Defending higher education and basic research will require explicitly resisting the diversion of our tax dollars to military accounts.
King is a professor of molecular biology at MIT, where he has long taught biochemistry and directed biomedical research on protein misfolding and human disease <http://web.mit.edu/king-lab>. Long involved in issues of science and society, Prof. King was a member of the original Science for the People. King currently serves on the Board of Massachusetts Peace Action and chairs its Nuclear Disarmament Working Group. He is also active in the national People’s Budget Coalition that supports the Congressional Progressive Caucus on federal budget priorities.
Sponsored by Western Mass Science for the People and the Political Economy Research Institute.
Co-sponsors: Massachusetts Society of Professors, Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts, History Department, Social Thought and Political Economy Program, Resistance Studies Initiative, Northampton Committee to Stop the Wars, Resistance Center for Peace and Justice.