Monday, January 16, 2017

My philosophy on activism

My response to a request to comment on academics and activism,
from a journalist/scholar writing for the New Indian Express.

My activist philosophy is based on Bertrand Russell's statement: "Facts which ought to guide the decisions of statesmen (sic)... do not acquire their importance if they remain buried in scientific journals." (Betrand Russell, The Social Responsibilities of Scientists, 1962)

I regard my "activist" responsibility to be the sharing of results of research on language and literacy development that are often "buried in scientific journals," findings that appear to be unknown to the public but that could make life much easier as well as more interesting for millions if they were more widely known.

I do this largely in the form of letters to the editor to newspapers throughout the world, and I post my letters (published and unpublished) on facebook, on and link to them on twitter. I have not kept track of my published letters, but I estimate that over 1000 have been published. (I am still far behind the world record holder, Subhash Chandra Agrawal from New Delhi, who has probably published over 4000 by now.)

I don't know if my letters have done much good, but I feel compelled to continue. As stated in Jewish philosophy, You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it"  (Ethics of the Fathers (2, 21).

Stephen Krashen

1 comment:

  1. Stephen, you sound like the type of person who would appreciate this collection of agitprop pictures