18 December 2008

Nature: Canada's scientists face uncertain future

In Nature magazine no less.

Political turmoil leaves key positions in doubt.

Canadian researchers are wondering what 2009 will bring for science, as an unprecedented shutdown of parliament has left the country's political future in limbo...

Many Canadian scientists have complained about the way science has been treated under Harper. In the lead-up to the October 2008 election, they rallied against the Conservative government by issuing two letters of protest. One called for politicians to crack down on greenhouse-gas emissions, the other for an end to the mistreatment and politicization of science. "While science is not the only factor to be considered in political decision-making, ignoring and subverting science and scientific processes is unacceptable," said the 8 October letter, which was signed by 85 scientists and addressed to the five party leaders. Their examples include the closing of the Office of the National Science Advisor (see 'Canada abolishes its national science adviser'), the alleged muzzling of Environment Canada scientists, and the alleged suppression and misrepresentation of research related to Vancouver's supervised centre for users of injection drugs.

The Harper government continues to damage Canada's reputation. We're not used to getting noticed by the rest of the world. And those few times we were, it was almost always in a good light. But not anymore!

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