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February 13, 2018

Language, Science, and PoliticsThe Politicization of Public Health

Author Affiliations
  • 1O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2018;319(6):541-542. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.21763

The Albert Einstein Memorial in front of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, expresses a core value of science and medicine: “The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”1 Evidence informs decisions about the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals, medical treatment, and public health. Science, of course, is not value-neutral and has always been intertwined with politics. Yet ideology and politics can never justify obscuring the truth, including clarity of language.

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