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October 29, 1970 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-29

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Page Ten .

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, October 29, 197'U

4

Page Ten THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, October 29, 1 97U

4

Locking the

files on research

CAPITOL SALE

(Continued from Page 1)
mark," claims Leonard Porcello,
associate director of Willow
Run. "T h e general principles
(of new knowledge) a r e un-
classified, specific configura-
tions are secret. Basic tech-
niques get out pretty fast."
Porcello lists items such as
calibrations, weights, sizes and
accuracies as some of the as-
pects of projects that are often
classified.
"The fact of th e( matter is
that with many of the projects
which are so-called classified,
it is the use of the application
to a particular military objec-
tive that is the only thing that
is classified," Norman adds.
"The information itself is of-
ten freely published in the lit-
erature," he says.
Norman emphasizes that the
University has a very strict def-
inition of classification. "If any-
body participating in a project
has to have a security clear-
ance ,the project is called clas-
sified," he says.
.uIf any person requires a se-
curity clearance for access to
classified documents, facilities
or equipment, the project is la-
belled classified by the Univer-
sity even if the research results
are unclassified.
Nine out of the 42 classified
contracts come under this head-
ing, Norman says.
One result of the classification
scheme is that occassionally
graduate students have had to
write two versions of their the-
ses, one with classified data for
the sponsoring agency and an-
other without for their disserta-
tion, which must be public.
"We haven't h a d a person
who's written a dissertation get
in trouble with classification,"
says Porcello.
Similarly, senior researchers
also sometimes produce two ver-
sions of a project report - one
for the Defense Department and
another unclassified one for
publication for the scientific
community.
"About one-quarter of our re-
ports are classified," says But-
ler. "Occasionally we do two re-
ports, one for our own people,
another for the military."
Doing work for the govern-
ment is generally not as encum-
bering as doing it for private in-
dustry, Brown claims.
"Industry doesn't ever want
to let the information out," he
says. "The Defense Department
even has an office to help get
research published in scientific
journals."
Brown describes the people
who decide classification as
"capable and reasonable."
Speaking of the tendency to

withhold information, Butler
adds, "No matter who gives you
the dollars, they want a tech-
nology lead on their competi-
tion. They don't want to give it
away until they have had some
use on it."
Brown contends that while a
majority of Willow Run's pro-
jects are listed as classified, on-
ly about 10 per cent of the re-
sults are classified.
Despite these explanations,
over half of the 122 reports to
research sponsors p u t out by
Willow Run scientists and en-
gineers in 1968, the latest year
for which figures are available,
are classified.
Porcello says some of these
classified reports are quarterly
progress reports required by the
government. "The actual ratio
of journal articles is about ten
unclassified, to one classified,"
he claims.

unless the research will "make
a significant contribution to the
advancement of knowledge" or
enhance "the research capabili-
ty of the investigator or his un-
it."
The Committee on Classified
Research, which has eight fac-
ulty and three graduate student
;nembers, approves projects us-
ing these criteria.
Through March of this year
the committee h a s considered
119 proposed classified projects
and approved all b u t one of
them. The single project reject-
ed was "considered inappropri-
ate because of its limited and
strictly military orientation."
"So far we've had no con-
flicts," says Vice President Nor-
man, who has the authority to
overrule the committee. "Their
findings are reported to me, but
quite independently I make my
own reviews."

"I don't think we were doing much that was
improper before . .. so I don't think there has
been much change of policy internally," says
Vice President for Research A. Geoffrey Nor-
man.
esssN Y::":: ml N :.:+:: "N imm : N Ysr:J?:J: Y{:J.Y""r.YY'". VIJ:::J "J".Y4"At44:' :"'f:":::::??"}:" ?};:" }":."""r

the individual not have a set
position for or against classified
research in general. They must
agree to judge each case on its
individual merits.
The faculty members of the
committee come from a broad
range of backgrounds including
medicine, dentistry, engineering,
music, geography and romance
languages.
One member. Radiation Lab-
oratory Director Ralph Hiatt,
does classified research himself
but abstains from voting when
any of his projects are up for
approval.
While classified researchers
generally agree with the four
University guidelines, they are
not happy with the committee,
believing it discriminatory that
they have to be monitored while
their colleagues do not.
"We h a v e adopted cumber-
some bureaucratic processing of
proposals to insure against the
very unlikely (and not too ser-
ious) event of providing some
service to our g ove r nm en t
slightly outside the policy guide-
lines," says Brown.
"The reviewers are given con-
siderable authority with negli-
gible personal responsibility for
the consequences of t h e i r
judgments," he explains, vis-
ibly annoyed and upset with the
committee.
"It's hard to judge any indi-
vidual contract because we don't
operate with contracts, we op-
erate with programs," Legault
adds. "Having someone with no
experience judging each indi-
vidual contract is a pain in the
neck."
There are other people, how-
ever, who are unhappy with the
committee for other reasons -
they feel classified war research
inappropriate for a University.
TOMORROW:
MILITARY RESEARCH,
BLESSING OR CURSE?
(Paid Political Adv.)
Dear Congressman,
Today we protested against
hate and injustice. Where
were you?
-Mike Stiliwagon
The Daily is anxious to cor-
rect errors or distortions in
news stories, features, reviews
or editorials. If you have a com-
plaint, please call Edito; Mar-
tin Hirschman at 764-0562.

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I

All proposals for classified re-
search submitted to outside
sponsors since S e p t. 23, 1968
have been reviewed by the Sen-
ate Assembly Committee on
Classified Research, chairman
Gerald Charbeneau says.
The committee was the result
of a long study of University re-
search policies by agroup chair-
ed by chemistry Prof. Robert
Elderfield. The group was ap-
pointed by Senate Assembly, the
faculty representative body, af-
ter disclosure of University pro-
jects in Southeast Asia.
After months of deliberation,
the group agreed on the follow-
ing criteria for research which
were subsequently adopted by
the faculty:
-The University will not en-
ter into contracts "the specific
purpose of which is to destroy
human beings or incapacitate
human beings;"
-The University will not en-
ter into any contract "which
would restrain its freedom to
disclose the existence of t h e
contract or the identity of the
sponsor;"
-The University will not en-
ter any contract for which it
could not "disclose the purpose
and scope of the proposed re-
search," and
-The University will not en-
ter into any classified projects

Norman indicates that the
committee has not made much
change in the type of research
conducted at the University.
"I don't think we were doing
much that was improper before
we had the classified research
debate, so I don't think there
has been much change of pol-
icy internally," he says.
But Wilson says the f o u r
guidelines and the committee
have had an effect. "In consid-
ering projects we have ruled
out a number of t h i n g s we
might have done in the past -
we keep away from what might
be called operational phase," he
explains.
Although the committee has
rejected only o n e proposal,
sources say its chief value is
"keeping t h e system honest."
Because projects have to be ap-
proved by the head of a re-
search group, the unit's director
and Norman before they reach
the committee, most projects
that might violate the four cri-
teria are weeded o u t before-
hand.
Security clearances are n o t
required for members of t h e
committee, but this has not
proved a problem in getting
adequate information to judge
projects, Charbeneau says.
The main criterion for mem-
bership on the committee is that

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