We Must Reverse Defunding of National Science Capability: Is our Prime Minister trying to hide the truth? What can we do about it?
Presenter: Barrie Webster
Humanists base their life-stance on science, the scientific method, and evidence-based thinking. Current federal government direction is oriented towards downplaying evidence collection, especially in the areas of national statistics, the natural environment, climate change, and criminal justice.
Here are 8 major discussion points with resource links:
1. The Canadian government policy and actions provide the evidence of intentional decline.
The cuts to Environement Canada and other agencies will “diminish Canada”: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/10/13/harpers_war_on_science_continues_with_a_vengeance.html
“… a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making.”:
Review – Chris Turner’s treatise on ‘Tory anti-empiricism’:
2. Increasingly, the federal government destroys the scientific civil service, and the libraries that are the repositories of knowledge, e.g., DFO Winnipeg – Eric Marshall Library.
3. Destroying library resources may have been illegal. Is there room for a lawsuit?
4. Some have termed it ‘the death of evidence’.
5. For the scientists who are there, there are too many hurdles for Canadian government science results to make it to air, e.g., on the Arctic.
6. Post 2015 election, de-funding of environmental science (Environment Canada) is planned.
7. The concept of scientific freedom is also at stake.
[FYI: This site uses extensive annoying pop-ups, but is a good read]: http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2013/03/scientific-freedom-canada
8. And in the USA, there is a Republican Party policy plan. Are we falling in line?
As Humanists, what can we do to reverse the trend?
It appears that the policy of the current Canadian government is based on favouring the resource extraction industries and making Canada as attractive as possible for the financial interests that can be enticed to invest in them. On top of that, it is more than interesting that the policies also coincide with fundamentalist religious attitudes toward scientific knowledge.
We have an election facing us in 2015.