Exposed! NAS's Secret Membership Drive

Peter Wood

NAS member and mathematician John Wenger in Chicago has read my report of November 24, New AQ: Academic Revisionisms, and noticed the sentence in which I said, “We recently opened our membership to those who are not in the academic world but care about the future of higher education.”  Why, Professor Wenger asks, aren’t we shouting this from the rooftops?  He writes:

I cannot understand for the life of me why we are not advertising our new open status.  I would give an argument, but you already gave the argument in your explanation of why you are not doing so.  In this article, you tell those newly eligible to join that they are needed, but obviously not enough to advertise in places where they might actually see the message.

As I recall, your reason for not advertising this is fear that there would be a member backlash.  Seems to me that an organization dedicated to rational discourse would welcome dissent and deal with it.  We need all the help we can get, and the decision to open up membership is the right thing to do.  Now all you need is to really believe it.

Well, OK. I am rationally persuaded by Professor Wenger. In fact, I strongly believe that there are a lot of smart, educated people who align with NAS’s goals; who ought to be NAS members; and who are surely welcome here. We need to do more to get the word out.  

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