Test Tube Zealots: The American Chemical Society Terminates the Membership of Chemists from Iran

Discussion in 'C++' started by stj911@rock.com, Apr 7, 2007.

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    Test Tube Zealots: The American Chemical Society Terminates the
    Membership of Chemists from Iran


    The American Chemical Society (ACS) has once again led the way, with
    its "zealot" interpretation of "embargo" by the Department of
    Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control, by terminating the
    membership of its long-standing members in Iran, many of whom are post
    Ph.D. Alumni of American Universities. Several years ago, the ACS
    undertook a similar unprecedented action, under the same law. Then, it
    unilaterally stopped accepting scholarly and research manuscripts from
    Iranian scientists for its three dozen periodicals in the publication
    division. However, later, under embarrassing pressure from the
    American scientific community and its membership, the ACS retracted
    its decision and agreed to take it up instead with the federal
    government. Paradoxically and notwithstanding rhetoric, such ill-
    conceived measures are against the current U.S. Administration policy
    of promoting people-to-people contact as enunciated by the Assistant
    Secretary of State Nicholas Burns at the March 29 hearing of the
    Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, in Science Magazine, reported that the ACS
    Assistant General Counsel, David Smorodin when "re-reading the embargo
    rules, made the recommendation to terminate Iranian membership(Science
    Magazine, Vol. 315, 30 March 2007). One can not help but speculate
    whether or not such decision is truly serving the interests of member-
    based ACS or enforcing the laws to the limit as he has served as a
    U.S. Assistant District Attorney before joining the ACS. Nonetheless,
    despite the abrupt termination of individual membership of Iranian
    chemical scientists with no due process, the ACS has stated that while
    they [Iranians] can continue to purchase journals and other "non-
    sensitive products at full-rate, the ACS might apply for a special
    license from the Treasury Department to reinstate their memberships.
    This has in the meantime deprived American chemists to learn about the
    scholarly contributions of their Iranian peers.

    It should be noted that as in the past, the American Physical Society
    (APS), in contrast, stated, "We have NO plan to do anything similar,
    and continue to serve our members in Iran." Judy Franz, a director at
    the APS further stated that, "We would resist having to obtain a
    license to the extent we can."

    When interviewed by Science Magazine, the official publication of the
    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), David
    Rahni an Iranian-American chemistry professor in New York stated, "I,
    like most ACS members and peers in the scientific community, strongly
    question the ACS motive on this issue, and expect ACS,s leadership to
    refrain from allowing politics to taint the high stature the
    Organization has achieved." Rahni further stated that this has
    personally concerned him gravely since he has served the ACS with
    distinctions in the past thirty years, as typified by his positions as
    the chair of the ACS New York, the chair of the Middle Atlantic
    Regional Meeting, and the chair of Nichols Medal. 90% of the ACS
    projects, publications and activities are run by a huge cadre of
    volunteer professionals who, with no expectations, give their time,
    energy, money and intellects and talents to the advancement of the
    chemical sciences worldwide. It is painfully ironic to many,
    especially the ACS American members to witness the politicization of
    their disciplines through the ACS as they continue to register their
    grave concerns with the ACS lucratively remunerated executive
    directors. As a chemistry professor with having given fifty years of
    his life to the ACS and the profession so eloquently put it, "Never
    mind the Iranians as one may not give a darn about them and their
    plights, what, I am bewildered to speculate the ulterior motives of
    the ACS paid "professional leadership is to embarrass us as
    freethinking science. ACS is US and not its DC staff as they are
    required by our mandate to serve our interests and not create problems
    for us.

    The consensus among the nearly one million Americans of Iranian
    ancestry is to reaffirm their yearning commitment to the attainment of
    justice, security, stability, equity, transparency and human rights
    through "home-grown", indigenous and democratic reforms in Iran, but
    not at the expense of isolating the scientific community in their
    motherland from their peers worldwide. They further deplore any
    possible unilateral military action against Iran, as they firmly
    believe this is counter-productive to the organic, slow, but steady
    evolution of Iran through educational benchmark, cultural reforms and
    communication with the rest of the world. They further consider
    military action and/or isolation counter-productive to the credibility
    of their American homeland which would inevitably lead, once again, to
    the priceless loss of human life and loss of credibility for our
    nation in the international scene.

    Iran's chemist/chemical engineering professionals/scholars numbers
    tens of thousands. They are, by and large, members of the Iranian
    Chemical Society. However, many of them hold at least one overseas
    membership, mostly in the Royal Societies in the UK. There are
    currently 36 Iranian members in the American Chemical Society. The
    strong position of chemistry/chemical engineering in Iran is due to
    the oil and gas explorations by the petrochemical industry during the
    past 100 years, and due to some of Iran,s renowned past and
    contemporary chemists, scientists, and philosophers. The contributions
    of Americans of Iranian background to the chemistry and sciences,
    engineering and medicine, is unparalleled by other recent immigrant
    communities. There indeed exists an <http://www.ica-acs.org/
    news.htm>Iranian Chemists' Association of the ACS that since its
    inception in the 80, has reached out to over a thousand chemists of
    Iranian ancestry in the U.S. alone. It is well substantiated that as
    long as the diplomatic relations between the two nations remain at a
    hostile stalemate, a political cloud hovers over the personal and
    professional aspirations of Iranian-Americans. Specifically, senior
    and executive level professional opportunities for Iranian-Americans,
    particularly in government, higher education and the corporate world,
    remain chronically undermined.

    Iran, a multiethnic country of 70 million, traces its heritage to a
    long and illustrious history, 10,000 years in the making, with 2500
    years of a continuous form of government. There are two million
    students in her higher education system, 60% of whom, especially in
    the sciences, engineering and medicine, are women. Its literacy rate
    is 90%, unprecedented in that part of the world. Iran or Persia as it
    was formerly known by the outside world until 1935, has indeed
    contributed immensely toward the advancement of science, technology
    and society for millennia. Rhazes, Avicenna, Algorithm, Omer Khayam,
    Farabi, Biruni, Hayyan, and many others are some of the epics that
    come to a western scholar,s mind.

    Despite the tremendous burden imposed on the Iranian students and
    scholars as they struggle to obtain a US visa (mostly denied) for
    doctoral studies, some of the brightest graduate students in Ivy
    League Universities (e.g., Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, and MIT) are
    Iranians. Increasingly, however, they opt to pursue their doctoral
    studies in Australia, Canada and Europe. Iranian high school students
    have continuously ranked among the top few of the nations in the
    International Chemistry and other Science Olympiads, and Robotics and
    Computing Competitions.

    Isn't it ironic that when the ACS claims to be an international
    professional society, 130 years old, with a membership of 160,000, 10%
    of whom are from overseas, and an additional 20%, are naturalized
    Americans or permanent residents, that it forces the nationals of Iran
    out, deprives them from maintaining scientific communications with
    peers worldwide, and does not let them contribute toward the
    advancement of science worldwide?

    Notwithstanding the rhetoric and provocations leading to a possible
    disastrous confrontation by governments, a true scientist, or a
    credible organization of scientists such as the ACS, which does not
    recognize the boundaries of the world, should be capable to transcend
    all political barriers for the advancement of science.

    David N. Rahni, Ph.D. is a Professor of Chemistry at Pace University,
    in Pleasantville, New York and Adjunct Professor of Dermatology, New
    York Medical College. He is also an Adj. Prof. Envirnonmental Law at
    Pace U. He can be reached at:
    , Apr 7, 2007
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  2. Re: Test Tube Zealots: The American Chemical Society Terminates theMembership of Chemists from Iran

    * :
    > [off-topic]

    Your article is off-topic in clc++, and possibly in all five groups
    cross-posted to.

    A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
    Q: Why is it such a bad thing?
    A: Top-posting.
    Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet and in e-mail?
    Alf P. Steinbach, Apr 7, 2007
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  3. JR North

    JR North Guest

    Re: Test Tube Zealots: The American Chemical Society Terminates theMembership of Chemists from Iran

    And we're supposed to care exactly why?
    Dweller in the cellar

    > http://counterpunch.org/rahni04072007.html
    > Test Tube Zealots: The American Chemical Society Terminates the
    > Membership of Chemists from Iran

    Home Page: http://www.seanet.com/~jasonrnorth
    If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes
    Doubt yourself, and the real world will eat you alive
    The world doesn't revolve around you, it revolves around me
    No skeletons in the closet; just decomposing corpses
    Dependence is Vulnerability:
    "Open the Pod Bay Doors please, Hal"
    "I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.."
    JR North, Apr 7, 2007
  4. Jim Langston

    Jim Langston Guest

    > wrote:
    >> http://counterpunch.org/rahni04072007.html
    >> Test Tube Zealots: The American Chemical Society Terminates the
    >> Membership of Chemists from Iran

    "JR North" <> wrote in message
    > And we're supposed to care exactly why?
    > JR

    Oh come on, everyone knows Iranian chemists use C++.

    (In case anyone is taking me seriously, that is said tongue in cheek).
    Jim Langston, Apr 7, 2007
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