Screenshot of an email sent to Jennifer Bowen, an Ecology professor at Northeastern University, from Department of Energy, asking her to remove the term “climate change” from her already-approved grant proposal. Graphic: Jennifer Bowen

By Alex Kasprak
25 August 2017

(Snopes) – On 24 August 2017, Jennifer Bowen, an Ecology professor at Northeastern University, claimed that the Department of Energy wrote to ask her to remove the term “climate change” from her already-approved grant proposal. Bowen posted an email that appeared to be from the DOE asking her to remove the language so that the grant proposal, which is to be funded through the DOE’s Joint Genome Institute, could be posted on the department’s web site.

Posting a screenshot of the email to Facebook, Bowen stated: “This just happened. I’m just going to leave this here for people to ponder.” The text of the email reads, in part:

I have been asked to contact you to update the wording in your proposal abstract to remove words such as ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change.’ This is being asked as we have to meet the president’s budget language restrictions and don’t want to make any changes without your knowledge or consent. Below is the current wording for your abstract—at your next convenience, will you kindly revise the wording and send back to me as soon as you can? That way we can update our website.

We have reached out to the Department of Energy’s Science Office, as well as a representative from the Joint Genome Institute, asking for confirmation of the request’s authenticity but have received no response from either office. [more]

Did the Department of Energy ask a Scientist to Remove the Words ‘Climate Change’ from a Grant Proposal?


Jennifer L Bowen, Ph.D., of the Department of Marine and Environmental Science, Norhteastern University. Photo: Jennifer L BowenBy Christa Marshall and Hannah Northey
25 August 2017

(E&E News) – The Department of Energy (DOE) denied today that it's banning the use of "climate change" in materials after a public letter alleged scientific censorship and sparked a Twitter storm.

Jennifer Bowen, an associate professor at Northeastern University in Boston, posted a letteron Facebook showing a DOE official asking her to remove the words "global warming" and "climate change" from her research proposal on nutrient loading in salt marsh carbon sequestration.

The DOE official, whose name is not shown, allegedly said the department wants the language scrapped to "meet the President's budget language restrictions."

"This just happened," Bowen wrote yesterday in a post alongside the letter. "I'm just going to leave that here for people to ponder."

Bowen could not be reached directly for comment, but she and Northeastern University confirmed Friday afternoon that the letter was legitimate.

“Yes. I confirm the email is real. Although it should not be a “shocker.” similar actions reported at Dept. of Ag,” Bowen wrote on Twitter, linking to a report in The Guardian this month. The Department of Agriculture later denied telling employees to avoid use of the term climate change (ClimateWire, August 8)

Scientists said that Bowen is a well-respected biologist and that the referenced grant, which included detailed tracking numbers, appears legitimate.

DOE said this morning it could not verify the letter without more details on the sender, but strongly denied systematic censorship.

"There is no departmental-wide policy banning the term 'climate change' from being used in DOE materials. That is completely false," DOE spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said. […]

"Hey American Scientists. This should send a chill down your spine," Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann tweeted. [more]

DOE denies it has policy to remove ‘climate change’ from agency materials

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