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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Don’t let Alaska slip backward

  • Author: Syun-Ichi Akasofu
    | Opinion
  • Updated: September 2, 2019
  • Published September 2, 2019

Since researchers at the University of Alaska first determined the height of the northern lights above Fairbanks in the 1930s, UA scientists have become the experts on many aspects of arctic problems. Since then, federal agencies have trusted our arctic expertise on Alaska and national problems, including national security and defense — while providing millions of dollars to Alaska.

To have come this far — with nearly a century of work by thousands of professionals, including undergraduate education — only to see one man with his own agenda do so much damage by targeting the University of Alaska, is extremely disheartening. Before the oil days, Alaska pioneers did not have the Permanent Fund dividend and were willing to pay taxes.

Alaska is a special state in so many ways. If Alaska cannot educate its own people for Alaska’s needs and national needs — as Russia and China are now expanding their influence in the Arctic — and has to rely on specialists from the Lower 48, we will become nothing but a colonial state of the U.S. Is this really what we want?

— Syun-Ichi Akasofu


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