Friday, October 10, 2008

Canadian scientists protest political interference

The Canadian Scientist against the politicization of science sent an open letter to all the major party leader ahead of the election calling for an end to government interference in science. The letter is signed by 85 scientists, including a few from the University of Ottawa:

"Re: The Politicization of Science in Canada
Dear Sirs and Madam:
We are a group of concerned scientists writing to call for the end to the
politicization of science and related due processes in Canada. Below we highlight
some recent examples of the mistreatment of science in Canada:
• The closing of the Office of the National Science Advisor 1
• The misrepresentation of climate change science 1, 2
• The muzzling of Environment Canada scientists 3 4
• The cuts to and reorganizing of the Canadian Wildlife Service 5
• The political appointments to the board of Assisted Human
Reproduction Canada 6
• The halting of the Prison Tattoo Pilot Study and the suppression of the
results of this study 7
• The firing of the Head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission 8
• The suppression and misrepresentation of research related to
Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site 9-11
The above represent blatant examples of instances when:
• Systems developed to provide non-partisan scientific advice were
undermined, interfered with, or dismantled for political reasons;
• Science was interrupted, suppressed and distorted for political reasons;
• Scientific uncertainty was manufactured in instances where none existed;
• Reputable scientists were attacked because the results of their work were
unpopular or inconsistent with the views of political parties;
While science is not the only factor to be considered in political decision-making,
ignoring and subverting science and scientific processes is unacceptable. In light
of these concerns, we are calling on all political leaders to articulate how they will
work to improve Canada’s track record with respect to the treatment of science
and related due processes.
Yours truly,
Canadian Scientists Against the Politicization of Science"


Anonymous Coward said...

I would love to endorse a party, but I have yet to see any of them address the issues cited here...

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