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Science, not Silence

A recent article from in the Washington Post reported that staff of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were banned from using seven words or phrases in its official documentation for next year’s budget: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based. CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald has since issued a statement refuting that there are banned words at the CDC. However, neither she nor an HHS spokesman denied reports that recommendations were made to avoid specific words when seeking federal funding. Whether the censorship was a formal ban or recommended self-censorship, whether it was directed at the CDC or any other science-based organization, whether there were sevens words or 100, the objective is the same. This action is a deliberate attempt to undermine and place limits on the research that should inform decision making.

The National Association of Deans And Directors (NADD) for Schools of Social Work has posted this letter on behalf of social work deans and directors and the schools and departments that they lead. The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare has also signed on this letter from the March for Science Coalition, calling for “science not silence."

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