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United States Republicans Politics Science

Trump Administration Prohibits CDC Policy Analysts From Using the Words 'Science-Based' (washingtonpost.com) 458

Long-time Slashdot reader hey! writes: On Friday the Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration has forbidden the Centers for Disease Control from using seven terms in certain documents: "science-based", "evidence-based", "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," and "fetus".

It's important to note that the precise scope and intent of the ban is unknown at present. Scientific and medical personnel as of now have not been affected, only policy analysts preparing budgetary proposals and supporting data that is being sent to Congress. So it is unclear the degree to which the language mandates represent a change in agency priorities vs. a change in how it presents itself to Congress. However banning the scientifically precise term "fetus" will certainly complicate budgeting for things like Zika research and monitoring.

According to the Post's article, "Instead of 'science-based' or 'evidence-based,' the suggested phrase is 'CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes."

The New York Times confirmed the story with several officials, although "a few suggested that the proposal was not so much a ban on words but recommendations to avoid some language to ease the path toward budget approval by Republicans."
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Trump Administration Prohibits CDC Policy Analysts From Using the Words 'Science-Based'

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  • They must go nuts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17, 2017 @11:34AM (#55755571)

    As someone who had to work with crassly incompetent bosses, too, I can feel for them. This must really be really painful. The best thing they can do is leaking every bullshit those Trumpist idiots are demanding and destroying to the press.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17, 2017 @11:44AM (#55755627)
  • Not surprised... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17, 2017 @11:34AM (#55755573)

    If you hate science because it conflicts with your religious beliefs, you probably donâ(TM)t want people using it to justify stuff.

    • If you hate science because it conflicts with your religious beliefs, you probably donâ(TM)t want people using it to justify stuff.

      That's why "faith based" is still permitted.

      • That's why "faith based" is still permitted.

        Maybe that's the workaround: describe everything like "bases its recommendations on science, not that faith-based bullshit, in consideration with scientific community standards".

    • If you hate science because it conflicts with your religious beliefs...

      I don't think this has anything to do with religious belief. I think it is due to a dangerous mix of ignorance (partly willful and partly due to lack of intellectual capacity) and short-sighted financial self-interest. If Trump and co were capable of understanding science and were open-minded enough to realize that there is a lot of money to be made developing green technology they would be cheering science on, not desperately trying to hide and/or ignore the truth of it.

  • She's a witch! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @11:36AM (#55755579)

    According to the Post's article, "Instead of 'science-based' or 'evidence-based,' the suggested phrase is 'CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes."

    So if the community standards and wishes means they prefer to rely on religion, superstition and other make-beliefs mumbo-jumbo, science has to stand aside?

    • It works for California... After all, didn't we just have an article here at /. about cell phones and cancer and California, based upon wishful thinking/community standards?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17, 2017 @11:40AM (#55755601)

    Authorized clerics have the final say on what is true and proper in our society.

  • Work-around (Score:2, Funny)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 )

    Since "fetus" is banned, they will now use "small Trump-like being" in its place. Hand size is about right, also.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DogDude ( 805747 )
      That doesn't quite work. A fetus is usually something a woman wants in her ladyparts.
  • Are "superstition-based", "cult recommended", or "not superstition based" permitted?
  • wtf (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Holi ( 250190 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @11:45AM (#55755641)
    What the fuck does "community standards and wishes" have to do with scientific evidence.
  • Convenient omission (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget"

  • CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.

    I'm sure that's the same community that would wish for Pi to be 3.0 to make life easier...

  • Use God too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AndyKron ( 937105 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @11:52AM (#55755683)
    And when asking Republicans for budget money use the word "God" a lot. They like God. Finding a Bible verse to back you up is pure gold.
    • That is why I like to mock people by asking: which god?
      And if they say 'my god' to often or even 'Oh My God!' I reintroduce myself: 'Just Angelo, for you just Angelo'.

  • Dolts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rnturn ( 11092 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @11:53AM (#55755689)

    Science does not care about your "community standards", your religious viewpoints, or any other fantasies you believe in this week.

    • But "community standards", your religious viewpoints, or any other fantasies you believe in this week can indeed affect reality, since a good portion of our human-scale reality is political.

      For instance, any social issue where a solid statistical analysis shows that you can reduce a problem with something that goes against people's gut feelings. Abortion and birth control access would be the first two I'd suspect the right would go after. Crime and punishment would be a close second. In both cases we ha

  • I've gotten the list of words that will be banned on Slashdot in 2018:

    - cryptocurrency
    - malware
    - systemd
    - unicode
    - diversity
    - indochimp
    - Russia
    - artificial intelligence

  • "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." - Richard Feynman
  • " Instead of 'science-based' or 'evidence-based ,' the suggested phrase is 'CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes."

    • The problem with that replacement phrase is that it is a literal implementation of a policy of 'feelz over realz'.

      "In consideration with community standards and wishes" translates to, "if we don't like the results of the scientific process, we'll override them".

  • I think the list is a stupid idea, especially not using the word "fetus" in an environment where you may be talking about Zika for example...

    But here's the thing - why complain specifically about "science-based" when the replacement is "science"? "Science-based" is a terrible word, the most waffly term ever. You could argue an e-meter is "science-based" because it relies on conductivity of wiring. I hate the term so much if they had just banned that word, I think I might actually support the list...

    • by Leuf ( 918654 )
      The replacement isn't "science" it's "science in consideration with community standards and wishes". "Science-based" implies that science is the only consideration. The replacement implies that the science is only to be used when it backs up what the people in charge wanted to do in the first place.
    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      "Science-based" means something different than science when used as an adjective. Consider:

      (1) Science policy -- principles which govern your support of science;

      vs.

      (2) Science-based policy -- positions on *anything* which are chosen because of scientific evidence.

      An example of science policy would be favoring fundamental over applied research -- as did the Reagan administration. They did this for ideological reasons (which doesn't make the reasons *bad*): they thought the government shouldn't do anything t

  • Fetus! Fetus! Fetus!
    Ban me now, Don!

  • He forgot (Score:2, Informative)

    by aglider ( 2435074 )

    "Donald Trump's is an idiot"!

  • by George Carlin.

    The Seven words you can never say on television.

    Which fits, sadly, since our government has become one long never ending stream of stand up comedy :|

  • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @11:21PM (#55758805) Homepage Journal

    So I read the summary with a critical eye and this jumped out at me:

    although "a few suggested that the proposal was not so much a ban on words but recommendations to avoid some language to ease the path toward budget approval by Republicans."

    That tells me the heads of CDC most likely came up with this set of "recommendations" because they think it will help them get a larger budget.

    This doesn't read as the Trump Administration banning words, it sounds like career staff has an insulting view of the politicians that determine their funding level.

Just go with the flow control, roll with the crunches, and, when you get a prompt, type like hell.

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