ACLU Decries Scientific Censorship at Smithsonian

May 23, 2007 12:00 am

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Washington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union today denounced the Smithsonian Institution’s censorship of an Arctic climate change exhibit. Smithsonian scholars watered down a climate change report by scientists, believing it would cause a stir in Congress and the White House.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“The Smithsonian Institution must fight any efforts to edit information to placate politicians. The scholars of the Smithsonian should not be censored, and they should not self-censor to please the political leaders of the day.

“The Institution was founded ‘for the increase and diffusion of knowledge’ and should not take that mission lightly. The Smithsonian should not have to be afraid of offending those who hold the purse strings. And this White House should stop trying to bend the rules of science to fit its ideology.

“The Smithsonian’s collections, open to everyone free of charge, are a national gift; they must not fall victim to censorship. We want to commend the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming for looking into this matter on behalf of the American people.”

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