Science will survive Trump


From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in

The Trump administration has been trying to censor certain phrases  that formerly were widely used in some federal agencies, such as “global warming’’ and “human-caused climate change’’ in the Environmental Protection Agency (the fossil-fuel industry doesn’t like them) and ‘‘evidence-based,’’ “science-based,’’ “transgender’’ and “diversity’’ at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Tea Party and some Evangelical types don’t like those words.)

At the same time, the administration is trying to force out some agency scientists disinclined to follow the new regime’s line. But science is international and these phrases and the science they refer to will still be out there, although the administration’s actions will tend to move some important scientific research abroad. Too bad.

When I worked in Paris in the ‘80s we lived right next to the Institut Pasteur, the famed medical-research center, where I often went in to look at the  bulletin board to read announcements about discoveries. (Institut Pasteur scientists found the AIDS virus.) Most of the announcements were in English, the primary language for high-level scientific communications. One got a strong sense of just how global science is.