SGR's 'Military influence' reports: Quotes

What they said about our reports...

Behind Closed Doors (published June 2008)

"It is disturbing to read that academics and officials were reluctant to provide information to this study. If they have any qualms about revealing aspects of their work they should not be undertaking it. Universities are publicly funded institutions and should be required to publish a detailed list of all research funding they receive, as Cambridge University does……….I hope that this report will open doors and open minds."

Dr Ian Gibson MP
Former Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology.

"Scientists for Global Responsibility are to be congratulated on this authoritative follow-up to their previous report (Soldiers in the Laboratory). Over the past decades British universities have been pressed ever closer into liaisons with industry, commerce, and the military. Behind Closed Doors provides as clear a picture as possible from publicly available sources and responses to SGR's own survey of a number of universities as to the extent of this military involvement, which has notably increased in the context of the so-called "war on terror." The report raises important questions as to both whether these developments and expenditures actually aid the security of British citizens, and the effect that these often secret research programmes have on what should remain a university's primary mission. It should be required reading for anyone concerned with developments in military technology, academic freedom or science policy."

Professor Steven Rose
Department of Biology
The Open University, UK

Soldiers in the Laboratory (published January 2005)

"Science and technology offer enormous opportunities for the betterment of mankind. Unfortunately these potential benefits are overshadowed by the exploitation of science for military ends.  This report aims to bring these matters to the attention of the world community, focusing on some of the crucial decisions that have to be taken. It is a wake-up call for all of us."

Sir Michael Atiyah OM FRS
President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and
former President of the Royal Society of London.

"Ideally science ought to be the disinterested study of nature; ideally universities ought to be the eyes, mind and conscience of society.  Dr Chris Langley's brilliant and vitally important book 'Soldiers in the laboratory' documents the tragic erosion of these ideals during the last few decades.  It describes the perversion not only of science, engineering and technology, but also of the university system itself, by the pervasive influence of the military-industrial complex.........Langley pleads for a wider definition of security, where solutions to the urgent problems of the world would be seen as establishing the basis for global stability and safety"

Professor John Avery,
Foreign Member of the Royal Danish Society of Sciences and Letters.
Associate Professor Emeritus, H.C. Ørsted Institute,
University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

“At last a report which takes the lid off science funding and priorities. The military succeeds when the people’s needs fail to be met.”

Dr Ian Gibson MP,
Chair of House of Commons Select Committee
for Science and Technology until May 2005

"Soldiers in the Laboratory" is an important book, and I agree with its major findings. Its message should be disseminated widely, as it will help to stimulate a more open discussion on the issues of national security.

Robert A. Hinde, CBE, FRS, FBA
Chair, British Pugwash Group

"Soldiers in the Laboratory is a timely and shocking reminder of the scale of military research funding in the UK which sucks up almost a third of public research money. Public health and sustainable agriculture research suffer as a result, as potentially effective low tech approaches which can't attract big business go neglected".

Dr Sue Mayer, Director of GeneWatch UK

“Ever since 1945, and under Tory and Labour governments, Britain has spent disproportionately more of its research and development budget on military technology than any other European country - a huge waste of scientific resource. Will it ever change? SGR's new report argues that it is both possible and desirable.”

Professor Steven Rose,
Department of Biology, Open University, UK