Purity of ethics – not just for bloggers

one of the big on-going arguments that happens within the tech blogosphere has to do with bloggers accepting advertising. Whether it be the simplest form of running AdSense in the sidebars to full fledged sponsored posts nothing gets people riled up like the questioning of a blogger’s ethics when it comes to earning money. As much as we might like to believe that in the current climate of rapidly changing boundaries of news production bloggers are the only ones facing these types of quandaries the fact is we aren’t.

In a post today on the Danger Room blog Nathan Hodge passes on the news that the Pentagon has announced the first of their Minerva Research Initiative awards. For those not familar with this program being sponsored by the Pentagon it is a program to fund social science research on key strategic issues. Out of the 211 proposals the Pentagon has picked seven to which the Pentagon will commit up to a total of $50 million.

Apparently though the Minerva program has sparked a lot of debate within academia about the wisdom of accepting Pentagon funding for any projects. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates; a former president of Texas A&M University, has stated that the Minerva project is an effort to repair the rift that has developed between the military and academia.

Considering the gravity of the issues that these scholars will be studying it kind of puts our bickering over who accepts ads and how seem really silly and stupid. Not that that will stop the purity patrol from espousing their opinions which knowing them would probably extend to the Minerva problem as well.

Oh well one can always hope for sensibility to win out – even though the chances are pretty slim.