Canadians Want Science to be Free

Scientists in Canada have come under attack and censorship under the federal Conservative government and Canadians want that to change. Science Uncensored is a new organization focused on ensuring that research funded by the government is freely available to Canadians and that the government stop censoring research results. In the past few years, research on the damage of salmon farming to the effects of climate change on Canada have been held back from public release due to alleged political pressure. It’s great to see people who want evidence-based debate on policy standing up against this sort of intervention in scientific research.

If your Canadian, I encourage you to take a few minutes and send a message to your MP to voicing your support for open and free science.

Informed public debate is the foundation of democracy. Informed means, at the very least, having the scientific information that we have paid for through our tax dollars available for discussion. This means allowing our publicly-funded scientists – whose salaries and research costs we pay – to communicate freely.

In early 2012, a number of science and science journalism organizations signed a letter to Prime Minister Harper asking that the muzzling of government scientists stop. Despite this and other actions, the muzzling has continued and the situation is getting worse. Just last month Democracy Watch and the University of Victoria Environmental Law Centre submitted a letter to the Information Commissioner asking her to investigate and determine whether the new science-communication policies are even legal.

Find out more at Science Uncensored.

Project Democracy

Canadian democracy has been ridiculed lately and rightly so. Under Harper’s pathetic leadership we have seen the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, the largest deficit this country has ever seen, the attempted dismantling of a working financial economy and Canada’s international reputation erode to meaninglessness. That on top of the Conservative’s repulsion of anything remotely environmentally friendly.

All of this has got a lot Canadian really angry at their current leadership (if you’re not angry about this you really should be). Now a bunch of Canadians have launched Project Democracy to rid Ottawa of the worst prime minster that Canada has seen this century.

I encourage every Canadian to vote out Stephen Harper’s Conservatives across the country!

When was the last time you saw good news posted here about action that the Conservatives have taken in Ottawa? It’ll be a great news day when we announce that Harper is no longer Prime Minster of Canada!

Project Democracy is a tool to help you determine if there is a way to “amp up” your vote and stop a Harper majority. By using a riding by riding election prediction model based on the most up to date public opinion research, we can tell you which Party is best positioned to defeat the Conservative in your riding. Just enter your postal code in the box to the right.

Check out Project Democracy now.

Science is Great!

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.

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