Views

Silence of the labs

23-APR-2014 11:32 AM  

Scientists across the country are expressing growing alarm that federal cutbacks to research programs monitoring areas that range from climate change and ocean habitats to public health will deprive Canadians of crucial information.

 

Dr. Munir Sheikh, Former Chief Statistician of Canada, Executive Fellow, School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, and Distinguished Fellow at the School of Public Policy, Queen's University

 

PIPSC has been working alongside other unions, advocacy groups and media to promote the importance of government science through research projects and public awareness.

 

Canadians hoping to gauge the hazards of the Harper government’s ongoing budget cuts need look no further than the impact of the cuts on government science, concludes a new report by the PIPSC titled “Vanishing Science,” based on recent, separate surveys of federal government scientists and the public.

 

On The Fifth Estate, “Silence of the Labs”, about cuts to public science in Canada. To learn more about this topic, read “The Big Chill” at www.pipsc.ca/bigchill

 

The results of the first extensive survey on the actual scale and impact of muzzling and political interference among federal government scientists are in, and they are even more damning of the Harper government – and more worrying for science and the public interest – than at first feared. Between June 5 and 19, 2013, invitations to participate in an online survey on science and the federal public service (conducted by Environics) were sent to 15,398 federal scientists who are PIPSC members, of which 4,069 participated. The results of the survey, outlined in a report published today titled The Big Chill: Silencing Public Interest Science, A Survey, are considered accurate + or - 1.6%, 19 times out of 20.

 

Thank you all for coming out today in support of Canadian science. PIPSC represents more than 20,000 scientists, engineers and researchers across the country.

 

Today Statistics Canada released its report “Federal Scientific Activities, 2013/2014.” The survey covers the period from Sept. 10, 2012 to Jan. 11, 2013.

 

As part of the Institute’s ongoing efforts to support the government scientists it represents and to promote the importance public science, PIPSC is now conducting a survey of all members with science-based jobs.

 

In response to increasing concerns about the integrity and independence of scientific research, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has launched a campaign to “Get Science Right”.

 

This spring the organizers of the “Death of Evidence” demonstration and the “Science Uncensored” campaign have launched a new “Evidence for Democracy” (E4D) Campaign.

 

On July 10th, well over one thousand scientists and their supporters, many wearing their lab coats, marched through the streets of Ottawa and on to Parliament Hill to send a strong message to the federal government.