Silenced Scientists Strike Back
Uncategorized Mar 17, 2013 Antonio Savoia
Canadian scientists have started to protest against the Canadian government and its method of muzzling scientists and cutting funds for certain scientific programs.
Shortly after Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Tories came into power in 2006 the financial funding for research began to decrease, with many of the cuts affecting the programs on climate change.
Specifically, the Tories have removed Canada from the Kyoto Protocol in 2011. Also the One Tonne Challenge, a $45-million program set-up by the previous Liberal government, has since been cut from the budget.
Many in the scientific community argue that the Conservative cuts are beginning to reshape of the system of scientific inquiry and research, leaving many Canadian scientists feeling as if they are muzzled.
The Conservative government’s new research and development plan was created to help steer a more industry-based approach. An industry-based approach means sciences are ignored, which leads the cuts to be larger in these areas then the rest meaning anything that does not create profit is likely to be cut.
Reports say that at least 40 federal programs, the majority in environmental science will lose funding or be shut down.
Press releases issued by federal scientists have decreased as much as 58 percent since 2006 due to the fundamental changes to the policy of the National Research Council, which hinders or prevents scientists from talking to the media.
Respect for the science community in Canada has decreased. In 2012, Canada received the Dodo Award from the Convention on Biological Diversity Alliance, which is given to the government that contributes to biodiversity loss and in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 received the Fossil of the Year award by Climate Action Network International for its poor record on climate change.
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