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Med school puts brakes on special-ops plan

In the face of opposition on and off campus, the Yale School of Medicine is putting a hold on plans for a program to train US soldiers in military intelligence techniques.

An associate professor of psychiatry, Charles A. Morgan III ’97MA, had been quoted in the Yale Herald and the Yale Daily News about a proposed US Special Operations Command Center of Excellence for Operational Neuroscience at the med school, to be funded by a $1.8 million Defense Department grant. The focus, Morgan has said, would be training soldiers to interview people in ways that are non-intimidating and to discern whether interviewees are telling the truth or lying. According to the Herald, he said interviewees would be drawn from New Haven's immigrant communities.

That drew the attention of immigrant advocates, who blasted the proposed center as potentially racist and exploitive of vulnerable populations.

In response, School of Medicine dean Robert Alpern released a statement this evening:

Members of the Yale and New Haven communities have raised concerns about a possible center for operational neuroscience that was reported in the press. In light of the issues raised, we are not moving forward on any such center until we have fully investigated all these issues.

It is a very important value of both the Yale School of Medicine and the broader University that all research participants, including all members of the New Haven community, are given the highest respect and protected from any unethical treatment.



Filed under special ops, School of Medicine, Robert Alpern, immigration
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