Scientific Freedom and Human Rights

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About the author:
Jack Minker is Professor Emeritus, Computer Science (CS), at the University of Maryland. He is a leading authority in artificial intelligence, deductive databases, logic programming, and nonmonotonic reasoning. He is also an internationally recognized leader in the field of scientific freedom and human rights and has worked in this field since 1972.

Minker graduated Brooklyn College in 1949 with a BA degree, cum laude, with honors in mathematics. He then received a Teaching Assistantship (1949-1950) from the University of Wisconsin, where he received an MS degree in mathematics in 1950. He received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in mathematics in 1959.

Minker's career spans work in industry and academia. He worked in industry at the Bell Aircraft Corporation (1951-1952), at RCA (1952-1963), and at the Auerbach Corporation (1963-1967). His career in academia started in 1967, when he joined the University of Maryland. At Maryland he became the founding chair of the Department of Computer Science in 1974.

Minker has had a long and distinguished career in CS and has received numerous awards, both for technical contributions and for his truly unprecedented role in organizing and stimulating scientific discourse around the world. Organizations that have recognized Minker's work include the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). Minker is a Fellow of the IEEE, the AAAS, the ACM, and the AAAI.

Minker has received several major awards: the 1985 ACM Outstanding Contribution Award for his work in scientific freedom and human rights; the 1996 University of Maryland President's Medal, recognizing a member of the College Park community who has made extraordinary contributions to the social, intellectual, and cultural life of the campus (the highest honor awarded by the university); the 2005 Allen Newell Award for his fundamental contributions to logic-based methods in computer science; and the 2011 Heinz R. Pagels Award from the New York Academy of Sciences: Human Rights Committee, first received by Dr. Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet physicist, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace laureate.

Scientific Freedom and Human Rights

Scientists of Conscience During the Cold War

Authored by Jack Minker

There is a great deal of difference between feeling empathy for those whose human rights are being violated around the world and actually doing something about it. This memoir, written by the Vice-Chair Computer Science (CS) of the Committee of Concerned Scientists (CCS), 1962-present, and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights (CSFHR) of the ACM, 1980-1989, is a first-hand account of computer scientists working with numerous other constituencies to safeguard or advance the human rights of scientists throughout the world. Drawing from the author's considerable archives from the period, Scientific Freedom and Human Rights is a treasure trove of historical information about a critical -- and relatively unsung -- human rights campaign, its successes and heartbreaking challenges, and possible lessons to be applied to future human rights campaigns. “The solidarity of the global scientific community was especially important in giving moral support to the intellectual leaders of the struggle for Soviet Jewry, helping them to continue their scientific activity even in a time of persecution. Their activism also helped to link scientific cooperation with the Soviet Union with freedom within the Soviet Union.... You will read these stories and see the support given many scientists throughout the world in this book.” -- Natan Sharansky, Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive “It is not very often that solidarity among scientists is brought to the public eye, and it is certainly not common for people outside science to associate scientists with heroic struggles for human rights, freedom, and dignity. Jack Minker’s new book will change this perception." -- Professor Judea Pearl, University of California at Los Angeles

Publication Date:
May 18 2012
0769546609 / 9780769546605
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
7" x 10"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Science & Technology

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