Letter from S. Georgia Nugent
June 19, 2017
Recent weeks and months have seen an increase in the cultural tensions in our nation—and, indeed, the world. It is not uncommon now for disagreements to escalate quickly into verbal attacks, threats of violence, and even—as recently took place in Washington, DC—actual violence. Unquestionably, this tendency has been facilitated by social media. But our digital media are only a means or instrument. More troubling is the mentality fueling the rush to attack, across the political spectrum; and that is an unwillingness to verify information, weigh arguments, and attempt to make independent, rationally-grounded judgments. These habits of mind are the very bedrock of learning and of scholarship; they are the principles on which the SCS, as a learned society, is founded and which we have a duty to uphold and protect.