IAS Looks to Its Past While Facing Threats from Current Climate

Though it may seem far removed from the noise of the contemporary world, the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) has a long history of combating threats to its scholars and their work. Recent executive orders by President Trump attempting to enforce travel bans and immigration orders have prompted the mobilization of an IAS History Working Group that recently published articles to provide illuminating historical reflections on the current political climate.

. . . Revisiting the Institute’s history to study individuals and scientific cultures that “reconstitute themselves and enrich common human heritage“ after they have gained sanctuary from authoritarian nationalist forces, the History Working Group looked back to its founders.

“Knowledge of this history,” one article stated, “should serve as a call for vigilance in the face of policies such as travel bans and immigrant deportations, as well as attempts to curb scientific inquiry and cut funding to arts and humanities and endowments that now threaten the autonomy of research and the pursuit of a dignified human life.”

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