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Censorship in Science

The term censorship often suggests prohibitions on obscene or indecent material, not scientific statements. In the past few years, many Americans have heard about censorship in relation to various celebrities accused of saying or doing something considered indecent or obscene, often in cases involving on-air personalities. However, censorship can mean many things other than attempts to prevent this kind of inappropriate material from reaching audiences. For example, the term censorship is also used to describe press restrictions in effect under conditions of war or other national emergencies. And one of the most famous censorship cases from history was about science: the case of Galileo Galilei, who was told by religious leaders in the early 1600s that it was heresy for him to assert that the ...

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