Science Cannot Be Silenced

January 2017: The start of a new year came with a change in American government bodies and a swift institution of their policies. Reactions were divided: there were those who feverously supported this change, and those who were left shocked and horrified. These emotions left many paralyzed, angry and fearful at the uncertainty brought upon by such controversial policies. What would happen to migrant families? Or to long-established government agencies? Will there be a regression for equal rights? What impact will censorship have on research and the environment?

The social progress America had achieved in the last few decades seemed so distant with this new political shift. To relieve the pressure of panic, the world witnessed peaceful protests and violent riots, criticism and retaliation. Still, it did not feel enough.

As a science communicator, I wanted to find my voice in this madness, to satisfy the urge to do something—anything—to resist this muffling feeling. I wanted to remember the inspiration and the progression of compassion, to hold onto the connection to and with the world. While wrestling with the negative pressures, I came to a freeing realization: science cannot be silenced. No one, no political system, no policy could ever truly silence the heart and virtue of science. It is founded on our curiosity to understand everything around us, and in that, it is a global entity. Upon this realization, I reached out to my international friends and colleagues to create this short video in hopes of two things: one, to encourage the discouraged; and two, to defy those who seek to silence science. This is our declaration: Science cannot be silenced, and it will not be silenced.

Jane Liu

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Breaking The Silence

History proves that even in instances of extreme suppression of freedom of speech, bold individuals have spoken up until an equilibrium was reached again. Scientists have been silenced before, but the willingness to fight for presenting what we call truth has never ceased to emerge. Journalists will not put down their pens until essential information reaches their audiences. Idealists, revolutionaries, and every citizen with a sense of justice should – and will – fight for their right to knowledge. Information belongs to everyone.