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The Academy Responds to Reports of Restrictions on the Use of Scientific Terminology

Published January 08, 2018

The Academy Responds to Reports of Restrictions on the Use of Scientific Terminology

The New York Academy Of Sciences Policy Statement:
Scientific Terminology in CDC Budget Documents

The New York Academy of Sciences shares the concerns of our colleagues at the American Association for the Advance of Science (AAAS) and other professional scientific societies regarding the recent report alluding to certain terminology being “banned” in CDC budget documents. Subsequent clarifications from the CDC director are reassuring, but this report is only one of a number of recent developments which suggest that scientific evidence and terminology are increasingly being viewed through the lens of partisan politics.

The Academy supports the position of the AAAS and others in the scientific community that scientific and technological information should always be communicated accurately, using correct (and widely accepted) terminology, particularly when the communication originates from a federal agency or other government entity.  We appreciate the CDC’s prompt response to clear up any misunderstandings and encourage our political leadership to be supportive of the use of appropriate language in official scientific reports to maintain the integrity of the information within.