The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday June 8th

Letter: Where STEM and non-STEM meet


Most of the recent internet banter regarding the divide between students in STEM and non-STEM fields at universities has been comical, but it’s clear to this philosophy major that the implications of that divide are no longer a laughing matter. 

While we were on break, a story broke from the Washington Post detailing how the CDC had received a supposed list of banned words from President Trump’s administration. This piece of journalism has proven to be shaky under examination, and CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald even tweeted that “there are no banned words at CDC.” 

However, Fitzgerald also corresponded with investigative media group Snopes, saying “confusion arose from a staff-level discussion at a routine meeting about how to present CDC’s budget.” 

While it may be unclear whether or not the seven words in the report are included in a direct ban, changes in budget presentation are just a different example of truth alteration. 

The CDC’s budget decides its programs, and the political majority decides the budget. Half the words on the list weren’t already political: even “evidence-based” was one of the seven supposedly controversial terms. 

If science, technology, engineering and math are oriented towards finding truths about our world, then stories like this mean STEM majors can no longer turn their heads at ugly policy: the truth, plainly understood, is being domineered. 

If we’re to fight this kind of narrative control being seized by the political majority, a new generation of STEM activists at the forefront is an absolute necessity.

Ike Crickmore 

Philosophy and Economics 


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