APS Speaks Out on Alleged Federal Restrictions on Science and Policy Terminology

APS Speaks Out on Alleged Federal Restrictions on Science and Policy Terminology

On December 15, 2017, reports surfaced that the Trump administration had instructed scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to avoid using phrases such as “evidence-based” and “science-based” in budget documents. On the 17th, however, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald tweeted, “there are no banned words at CDC.”

In concern over these developments, APS joined over 40 societies, universities, and other organizations in a joint letter to Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), speaking out against future limitations on science terminology in government documents. The letter emphasizes the importance of science in federal decision making and the value of accuracy and transparency in scientific and policy communication.

The letter reads, “Our community remains concerned and requests you encourage the heads of all federal agencies to support the use of science in decision making and to support the scientists who produce the knowledge upon which the nation’s economy relies.”

“As we soon enter a new year, we believe it would be an appropriate time for OMB to work with the heads of all government agencies to ensure they are basing their decisions, communications, policies, and regulations on the best scientific evidence,” continues the letter.

To read the full letter, which was organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, please click here [PDF link].

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