Sep 24 2013

Canadian Scientists Revolt Against Government Silencing

The scientific method of inquiry is rooted in testing hypotheses against observations freely, and through peer-review.

But what happens when government scientists are muzzled from talking to journalists and even other scientists, or publishing their work in journals? What happens when funding for crucial programs are diverted to industry-friendly programs?

That’s what Canadian scientists are reportedly dealing with under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

But they are now fighting back – in a series of protests held in over a dozen cities in Canada, called Stand up for Science, scientists wore white lab coats and protested the dangerous restrictions.

The fight has gained some traction here in the United States where scientists saw a similar muzzling of their work under the George W Bush Presidency.

The New York Times this past weekend added its thoughts to the fray with an editorial called “Silencing Scientists,” saying “this is more than an attack on academic freedom. It is an attempt to guarantee public ignorance.” The editorial went further implying that a corporate agenda is taking precedence, that the muzzling of scientists is “designed to make sure nothing gets in the way of the northern resource rush.”

GUEST: Katie Gibbs, Biologist and Executive Director of the group Evidence for Democracy, which organized the Stand Up for Science protests.

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