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Minerva Initiative

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Title: Minerva Initiative  
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Minerva Initiative

The Minerva Research Initiative was announced in 2008 by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. Minerva looks to tap into the community of area specialists and other university researchers, particularly those who work on Islam, Iraq, China, and related areas.[1]


In 2008, the project was provided $50 million by the United States Department of Defense to fund academic research on five separate themes. One focus was on China, a second on terrorism, a third on Iraq, a fourth on Islam, and a fifth that is open. The goal was to create improved relations between the Department of Defense and the universities and to develop knowledge that the military can benefit from in the long term.

Minerva has proven controversial.[2] Although many scholars support Minerva, a number of academic researchers have sounded public alarm about the prospect of Defense Department funding for research. The [3] He worries that:
"any attempt to centralize thinking about culture and terrorism under the Pentagon’s roof will inevitably produce an intellectually shrunken outcome....The Pentagon will have the false comfort of believing that it has harnessed the best and the brightest minds, when in fact it will have only received a very limited slice of what the ivory tower has to offer—academics who have no problem taking Pentagon funds. Social scientists call this “selection bias,” and it can lead to dangerous analytical errors."[3]

The Department of Defense funds Minerva directly and through the National Science Foundation.[4]

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^ [See]
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^

External links

  • "The Minerva Controversy"
  • "Minerva Homepage"
  • "Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown"
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