publicscience.ca is designed to educate the Canadian population about how great science and knowledge is. This a direct reaction to the direct attacks that research, science, and innovation have been under since the Conservative government took power. It’s really good to see scientists taking a stand and promoting all the reasons that science and research makes the world a better place!
It can also highlight important work that is already on the public record but may not be getting the attention it deserves. Of course, scientists who work for the Canadian people must be answerable for the dollars they spend. But too often, critiques of government science begin and end with knee-jerk scoffing when the topics seem frivolous to the ill-informed layman. A study on bird habitats, for example, might teach us something important about the environmental impact of public policy.
Ottawa is a government town. Part of what that means — although Ottawans themselves are prone to forget this — is that it’s a research town. Citizens have a duty to be informed about the world around them. Government has a duty to, at the very least, not get in their way.