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The Minerva Initiative (more formally known as the Minerva Research Initiative, not to be confused with the Minerva Project) is a Department of Defense (DOD) initiative announced by Secretary Gates in 2008 that was designed to infuse university resident social sciences into DOD thinking. The program garnered immediate opposition from anthropologists, although academics from other disciplines have also expressed concerns over what they often call a “militarization” of the academy or a narrowing of federal thinking on key issues that could result from such a program. The program quickly adapted and forged a close working relationship with the National Science Foundation (NSF) that diffused most of the criticism, and the initiative continues.

Background

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates cited the reason for the program in a speech ...

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