Cloak and Classroom

Many social scientists say a new government program will turn fieldwork abroad into spying. Can secrecy coexist with academic openness?

In 1995, as the American Anthropological Association debated a revision to its code of ethics, Felix Moos made an argument that was unpopular among his peers. Anthropologists, he said, should be permitted — indeed, should feel a duty — to conduct classified research that might help the U.S. government understand global conflicts. His opponents said that secrecy had no place in academe, and that his proposal would put scholars in bed with clandestine agencies that