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The Palm Center, a think tank that has been dedicated to unparalleled research about the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy over the course of the law’s life, announced today that it would be merging with the Williams Institute. The merger folds together two of the most well known LGBT research entities in the nation.
Although both are think tanks that operate under the auspices of the University of California, Palm had operated out of the University of California, Santa Barbara, whereas Williams operates out of the University of California, Los Angeles.
In a statement from the Palm Center:
LOS ANGELES, CA — April 11, 2011 — The Palm Center is proud to announce its merger with the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. As of today, Palm is to become a distinct center operating under the auspices of Williams. Palm’s Director Aaron Belkin said that, “The Williams Institute brings the highest scholarly standards to its research, and it is an honor to become a part of the Williams family.” Palm’s new web address is www.palmcenter.org, with corresponding email addresses (last name, at palmcenter.org) ….
This move makes sense in the aftermath of the December 2010 passage of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, setting up an end to the underlying ban that has provided the basis for much of the research done by Palm.
Looking at Palm’s description, it appears to be acknowledging this reality as well:
The Palm Center is a research institute committed to sponsoring state-of-the-art scholarship to enhance the quality of public dialogue about critical and controversial issues of the day. For the past decade, the Palm Center’s research on sexual minorities in the military has been published in leading social scientific journals.
Williams, on the other hand, has a more broad-based body of work, that easily would be able to take a “Palm Center in post-DADT transition” under its auspices as Palm refocuses in the coming years.
The move comes in the week after the Williams Institute held a 10-year anniversary celebration and conference of its founding.