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The Committee on Research Policy of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences came to no substantive decision yesterday about Project Cambridge but appointed a sixman subcommittee to consider the issue.
"The central problem for us to consider is the degree to which the University should supervise the scholarly work of the Faculty." Harvey Brooks. Dean of Engineering and Applied Physics. and chairman of the subcommittee, said yesterday at a press conference.
The subcommittee will report back to the Committee on Research Policy- "hopefully in about a month." Brooks said. The Committee will then make a recommendation to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which in turn will vote on whether to recommend to the Corporation that Harvard endorse the Project.
Yesterday's meeting was held in the Faculty Room of University Hall, beginning about two hours after a group of 175 demonstrators against the Project left the building.
Other members of the subcommittee include L Bernard Cohen 37, professor of the History of Science, and Edward L. Pattullo, director of the Center for the Behavioral Sciences. Both are, like Brooks, members of the Committee on Research Policy; the Committee also decided to ask three non-members to serve on the subcommittee, but these men have not yet agreed to do so.
Dean Ford said before yesterday's meeting that the views of subcommittee members about the Project would "range from enthusiasm to strong skepticism," Cohen said last night that he has "a fully open mind about the whole thing" and that there is only "about a 0001% chance" that he himself would be directly involved with the Project.
Pattullo. on the other hand is one of Harvard's biggest experts on the Project. His Center for the Behavioral Sciences withdrew an application for research grants from the National Science Foundation after hearing about the Project. Without official Harvard endorsement of the project. Pattullo said yesterday, individual Harvard participants "would be in a 'beggars at the table' position- wholly dependent on the M. I. T. group."
No students will serve on the subcommittee, Brooks said, because "student membership would prejudge the issue of the responsibility of the University community on matters of this sort." Student opinion will be solicited, however, although no plan for public hearings hasyet been formulated, Brooks said.
Brooks outlined four major possible courses of action which his subcommittee could recommend:
Forbidding all Harvard faculty members and grad students from having anything to do with the Project-even on an individual basis. Brooks said he "couldn't imagine" the subcommittee's taking this position.
Not aligning Harvard as an institution with the Project, but permitting professors and students to receive M.I.T. appointments for summer work on the Project.
Not aligning Harvard with the Project, but allowing professors and students to sign individual contracts with the Project and to have access to its computers.
Linking Harvard officially with the Project, with Faculty members appointed by President Pusey serving on its steering committee.
Dean Ford, who held the press conference with Brooks, said that he is "quite aware of the very strong political and moral feelings" against the Project. But "the difficulty of taking an institutional position against it." he added, "is that it can become a general position of allowing anybody's research to be debarred by a community consensus or even by what may be a small minority."
Ford added that "the University should have nothing to do with anything that isn't basic research," but admitted that it is impossible in practice "to set up an absolute safeguard" against the use of research for questionable ends.
"The sheer scale of the Project" necessitates careful consideration of all its aspects. Ford said "It would involve a considerable shift in emphasis in one or several parts of the Faculty. . . this is not unlike setting up a new department," he said.
Brooks said that he thought his subcommittee would be subject to "pressure from a lot of quarters" -including M.I.T. and some members of the Harvard Faculty. But the Defense Department. Ford said. "will. I suspect, adopt a strictly hands-off attitude."
Special guests at yesterday's Committee on Research Policy meeting included Charles F. Mosteller, professor of Mathematical Statisties, and Aaron N. Fleischer. associate professor of City Planning at M.I.T. Mosteller and Fleischer are currently chairman and vice-chairman. respectively, of the Project's Advisory Board.
Mosteller spoke in favor of Harvard's joining the Project and recommended that it reach a decision within the next 50 days.
Also yesterday, the Computer Service Committee of the Business School began discussing the Project as it affects that School. Neil C. Churchill. professor of Business Administration and chairman of the Committee. said last night that he too. will appoint a six-man subcommittee to investigate the Project and its relevance to the Business School.
As in the School of Arts and Sciences, this subcommittee will report to the Computer Service Committee will report to the Computer Service Committee. which will make a recommendation to the Business School faculty, which in turn will decide what is to be the nature of the School's ties with the Project.
The School of Education is the third and last school here which will have some association with the Project. Dean Theodore R. Sizer said Thursday that he has not yet decided how the Ed School will handle the issue.
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