News Topic

Academic Freedom, Advocacy


Medicine, Science, & Technology

The American Historical Association co-signed a letter from the American Anthropological Association protesting reports that the Trump administration had recommended restricting the use of specific terminology in the Centers for Disease Control’s budget documents. The AHA, along with their fellow signatories, believes that the federal government should utilize “science-based decision making in its policy formations.”

The Honorable Mick Mulvaney
Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503

Dear Mr. Mulvaney,

While we very much appreciate the CDC director’s clarifying statements that there are no words that are banned at their agency and that they will continue to utilize scientific evidence in setting policies, our community remains concerned and request 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.

At the interface of science and society, the federal government and its research agencies play a critically important role. The capacity to understand and effectively address important policy issues depends on access to relevant, accurately communicated scientific and technical information. At the same time, government agencies provide an important link between the public — as beneficiaries of federally funded research — and federal information, including scientific and technological information. Hence, it is vital that government agencies communicate and provide access to scientifically accurate information.

Scientific and technological knowledge is the foundation for future research, experimentation, debate, consensus-building and understanding. Scientifically accurate information builds the foundation for public policies that promote the well-being of people and communities. The selection, removal or replacement of scientific information for ideological or political reasons compromises the integrity of the process of receiving scientific advice.

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 that they are basing their decisions, communications, policies and regulations on the best scientific evidence. The undersigned would be pleased to work with you in accomplishing this important goal.


American Anthropological Association
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association of Geographers
American Chemical Society
American Educational Research Association
American Geophysical Union
American Historical Association
American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Mathematical Society
American Philosophical Association
American Psychological Association
American Society for Cell Biology
American Society for Environmental History
American Society for Microbiology
American Society of Naturalists
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Sociological Association
American Statistical Association
Arizona State University
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
Association for Psychological Science
Association of American Universities
Association of Population Centers
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences
Council of Scientific Society Presidents
Council on Social Work Education
Crime & Justice Research Alliance
Ecological Society of America
Entomological Society of America
Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Linguistic Society of America
Midwest Political Science Association
National Association of Deans and Directors for Schools of Social Work
National Communication Association
National Council for Science and the Environment
National Council on Family Relations
National Prevention Science Coalition
OSA-The Optical Society
Population Association of America
Rhetoric Society of America
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society
Social Science Research Council
Society for Neuroscience
Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Society for Social Work and Research
The Oceanography Society
West Virginia University

cc: CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald