Frankly Speaking: The Hoover Institution

Oct. 19, 2020, 11:54 p.m.

Frankly Speaking: Stanford and the Hoover Institution

Frankly Speaking is aimed at extending discourse and debate on important subjects beyond the auspices of The Daily’s staffers. We want to hear from members of the Stanford community about their takes on the controversial topics and vital realities we confront.

This week’s topic: What should the relationship between the Hoover Institution and Stanford look like going forward?

Last week, the Hoover Institution was once again in the news — the Trump officials reportedly briefed Hoover board members on the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic in February. In a September letter, almost 100 Stanford Medical School faculty wrote a letter criticizing Hoover fellow and senior Trump advisor Scott Atlas’s controversial views on the coronavirus pandemic. Atlas threatened a defamation suit in response, and he has since been in the news for his public statements and role in the Trump Administration’s pandemic response. Outside of the news raised by the pandemic, the Hoover Institution has long had a fraught relationship to the Stanford community. In September, over 100 faculty signed a letter urging the Faculty Senate to discuss the Hoover Institution’s relationship to the University.

Student publications have long debated the role of Hoover in Stanford politics and the relationship between the think tank and the University. Last year, Stanford Politics published an essay detailing the 100-year history of the Hoover Institution and its relation to the University. Likewise, faculty and staff at various levels of the University have debated the role of the Hoover Institution on campus before. Community members have long criticized Hoover for its alleged ideological bias and controversial public standing, but scrutiny of the think tank seems to be particularly resonant across campus in this current moment. Recent events, read against past discourse, raise the question: What should the relationship between the Hoover Institution and Stanford look like going forward?

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We look forward to hearing from you.

— The Opinions Team, Volume 258

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