Saturday, January 28, 2017

Government censorship of science

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom issued a statement this week, condemning demands by the Trump Administration that scientific findings by the Environmental Protection Agency be subject to review for consistency with the administration’s political viewpoint.

The OIF cites the EPA’s Scientific Integrity Policy, which states, “Science is the backbone of the EPA’s decision-making. The Agency’s ability to pursue its mission to protect human health and the environment depends upon the integrity of the science on which it relies.”

“Moreover, the policy seeks to ensure that ‘the Agency’s scientific work is of the highest quality, free from political interference or personal motivations.’”

In issuing its statement, the OIF emphasizes “unfettered access to knowledge” as a “core belief of [the library] profession.”

The OIF concludes, “To restrict citizens’ access to information essential to their health because it fails to agree with the political viewpoint of a particular administration is blatant government censorship. Rather than returning power to the American people, such strategies endanger us.”

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