America’s Underappreciated Entrepreneur: The Federal Government Publish Date: 23-MAR-2014 10:34 AM Imagine a world in which the United States government — not the private sector — is the economy’s indispensable entrepreneur, innovating at the frontiers of science and technology, able and willing to take risks and to persevere through uncertainty.
Canada falling behind on innovation Publish Date: 23-MAR-2014 10:32 AM While we tend to celebrate private entrepreneurship, the state is crucially important in driving and shaping innovation. The question of which economies will thrive and which will lag behind on innovation has a lot to do with sound public policy.
Guerre à la science (French only) Publish Date: 21-MAR-2014 10:30 AM «La liberté de la science contribue à une démocratie forte. Coupures, fermetures de bibliothèques et de laboratoires, licenciement et ingérence, les politiques actuelles diminuent notre capacité à bâtir de solides connaissances scientifiques», dénonce Katie Gibbs
Echoes of Walkerton in Environment Canada cuts Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:43 PM Albert Einstein’s well-known definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” is unsettlingly relevant to a new round of federal government cuts. The latest slashing of Environment Canada, which by 2016 will have half the budget it had in 2007, calls to mind a series of deep cuts to environmental protections in Ontario in the late 1990s. Some of the players are even the same, so they cannot reasonably claim to be ignorant of the tragic consequences.
Federal funding cuts to science felt in university research labs Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:39 PM Changes to scientific funding at the federal level are taking their toll on the work done in some University of Western Ontario research labs. Christopher Pin — an associate professor in the university’s department of pediatrics, oncology, and physiology and pharmacology — has experienced the repercussions first-hand as grants available through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) shrink.
La Garde côtière envoie d’autres brise-glace dans la Voie maritime (French only) Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:37 PM La Garde côtière canadienne a indiqué mercredi qu’elle envoie davantage de brise-glace pour aider à dégager le passage dans les Grands Lacs et la Voie maritime du Saint-Laurent. Évoquant les pires conditions de glace en 20 ans, la Garde côtière a affirmé qu’il est trop tôt pour déterminer à quel moment les navires de transport du grain et d’autres produits de base seront en mesure de traverser les corridors commerciaux habituels. L’Association des constructeurs de navire canadiens avait déploré mardi qu’un manque de brise-glace retarderait les livraisons de grain des Prairies et d’autres marchandises, incluant le minerai de fer, des matériaux de construction et des produits pétroliers.
UK Budget sees boosts for data science, graphene an cell therapy Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:35 PM British scientists already know that their public funding for the next two years is frozen at £4.6 billion (US$7.6 billion) annually (as it has been since 2010, which for the nation’s seven research-grants agencies has meant a 10% cut in real terms over the past three years), so they did not expect anything transformative from today’s budget. Right on cue, UK chancellor George Osborne continued his trend of throwing small crumbs of funding to science and technology — £222 million additional cash over the next five years — while at the same time failing to announce either long-term support for basic science or a strategy to develop UK industrial research, both of which are sorely needed, say science-policy experts.
Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate Publish Date: 18-MAR-2014 02:11 PM Early in his career, a scientist named Mario J. Molina was pulled into seemingly obscure research about strange chemicals being spewed into the atmosphere. Within a year, he had helped discover a global environmental emergency, work that would ultimately win a Nobel Prize. Now, at 70, Dr. Molina is trying to awaken the public to an even bigger risk. He spearheaded a committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, which released a stark report Tuesday on global warming. The report warns that the effects of human emissions of heat-trapping gases are already being felt, that the ultimate consequences could be dire, and that the window to do something about it is closing.
Billionaires with big ideas are privatizing American science Publish Date: 16-MAR-2014 10:20 AM Last April, President Barack Obama assembled some of the nation's most august scientific dignitaries in the East Room of the White House. Joking that his grades in physics made him a dubious candidate for "scientist in chief," he spoke of using technological innovation "to grow our economy" and unveiled "the next great American project": a $100 million initiative to probe the mysteries of the human brain.
Facing Millions in Cuts, Environment Canada Prepares to Get Lean Publish Date: 15-MAR-2014 09:39 AM The Harper government's plan for Environment Canada, the department tasked with coordinating the country's environmental policies and programs, involves millions of dollars in cuts and hundreds of job losses over the next three years. The cuts are outlined in a newly-released 2014/15 report on plans and priorities for the department, along with government rhetoric that promises "a clean, safe and sustainable environment while supporting economic prosperity."
‘Hype’ hurts scientific progress: conference Publish Date: 14-MAR-2014 10:32 AM A Vancouver conference is calling on government to protect independent research, as the increasingly cutthroat politics behind funding is pressuring scientists to go for sexy over sensible. The scientific community is struggling in an age where “hype” is harming the quality of research, said health law and policy researcher Timothy Caulfield, speaking downtown Thursday at the Brain Science and Social Responsibility conference. The call comes as Ottawa is under fire for cutting federal programs and shutting down research facilities — backing economic interests at the expense of pure science.
Troubled waters: Nuclear radiation found in B.C. may pose health concerns Publish Date: 14-MAR-2014 09:28 AM A radioactive metal from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan has been discovered in the Fraser Valley, causing researchers to raise the alarm about the long-term impact of radiation on B.C.’s west coast. Examination of a soil sample from Kilby Provincial Park, near Agassiz, has for the first time in this province found Cesium 134, further evidence of Fukushima radioactivity being transported to Canada by air and water.
Environment Canada braces for cuts to climate programs Publish Date: 12-MAR-2014 10:15 AM Canada’s efforts to combat climate change could be scaled down as Environment Canada braces for more budgetary belt-tightening over the next three years. A recently released report on Environment Canada’s plans and priorities reveals the department plans to reduce spending from $1.01 billion in 2014-2015 to $698.8 million in 2016-2017.
Time’s up? Federal government could run out of Radarsat-2 data unless it finds more money Publish Date: 10-MAR-2014 10:10 AM The Canadian government is quickly using up its allotment of surveillance time on the country’s most sophisticated satellite and could find itself doing without by 2017 unless it comes up with more money, according to Department of National Defence documents. Federal departments were to receive $445 million worth of data collected by the Radarsat-2 satellite in exchange for the government’s financial contribution to the building of the satellite, which is owned and operated by a British Columbia company. But the spacecraft has become so essential, particularly for the military’s surveillance of the country’s coastline, that the federal government is fast using up its data credits.
Ottawa takes another stab at solving the innovation conundrum Publish Date: 09-MAR-2014 10:01 AM Canadians might be surprised to learn their country has a science and technology strategy.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled what he called a “bold new framework” in 2007 – “Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage.” Mr. Harper vowed at the time that the plan would make Canada “a world leader in science and technology and a key source of entrepreneurial innovation and creativity.” Seven years later, the promise remains largely unfulfilled. Canada continues to slide further behind other developed countries on most key measures of innovation.
Main estimates : Statistics Canada reviewing how it gathers data Publish Date: 27-FEB-2014 09:22 AM The federal statistics agency will undertake a comprehensive review of how it collects key data about the Canadian population. The review is outlined in the main estimates tabled in Parliament Thursday, where Statistics Canada announced it was cutting its expected spending by more than $21 million — a five per cent cut from the estimates it tabled last year. In all, Statistics Canada expects to spend almost $380 million over the next 12 months. The estimates last year were for spending of more than $400 million.
Unmuzzled: Talking Canada's War on Science March 18, 2014
Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:53 PM
In three revealing, bilingual talks followed by a round-table discussion, this event connected the dots between the recent budget cuts to research, the muzzling of government scientists, and the Conservative government's actual agenda - a concerted dismantling of Canada's longstanding traditions of leadership in natural science and environmental stewardship.
Chris Turner, keynote & award-winning author of The War On Science / Science, on coupe !
Dr. Katie Gibbs, scientist & Executive Director of Evidence for Democracy
Mike De Souza, freelance environment & science journalist
Ethan Cox, MC, journalist & Senior Partner at CauseComms
(Québec) Malgré tout le boucan qui entoure les «compteurs intelligents» et les antennes cellulaires, rien ne permet de croire qu'ils sont nocifs ou que les normes canadiennes actuelles sont trop laxistes, conclut un rapport d'experts divulgué mardi matin.
New Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford holds investments in an elite hedge fund that trades securities in the energy sector he will now oversee. According to his conflict of interest disclosure, Rickford owns an unspecified number of units in the Waratah One Fund, an investment vehicle administered by Toronto firm Waratah Advisors.