Whistleblowing is an American institution, stretching from 1777 to this past Wednesday. In light of current impeachment proceedings related to to an anonymous whistleblower complaint, Allison Stanger, author of Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump, is available to comment on the current hearings and provide historical perspective about the role of whistleblowing in American democracy.

Some key insights from Stanger’s work include:

-Whistleblowers are insiders who expose illegal or improper conduct to authorities or to the press.

-The first whistleblower protection law, passed by US founders in 1778, says we have an obligation to report misconduct when we first see it.

-Despite legal protections, whistleblowing is personally costly and has become more so with changing technology and increasing militarization.

Allison Stanger is Russell Leng ‘60 Professor of International Politics and Economics at Middlebury College,Technology and Human Values Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. Journalists can reach Stanger directly at stanger@middlebury.edu