Canadian Scientists Muzzled?— Shame

Prime Minister Stephen Harper should set scientists free, says Nature – thestar.com

http://sciencewriters.ca/2012/02/16/prime-minister-please-unmuzzle-the-scientists/

Both the articles above are a must-read for anyone interested in science, working in science or studying in science and for anyone who thinks that censorship is antithetical to democracy.

If the scientists who work for federally-funded organizations are being forced to toe a party(Conservative) line before they talk to the media, they are being muzzled. The free-flow of scientific thought is the most important factor in progress in science. Cross-pollination of ideas happens not just from publications in scientific journals but also from information in the popular press. One scientist’s information may be the very stimulus needed for another’s idea, perhaps in a totally unrelated field.

The mania for control of the “message” in Stephen Harper’s government, a government elected on the promise of transparency, appears to be spiralling out of control. What next? Controlling what can be taught in the universities?

The scientists who work for federally-funded agencies are not working for the PMO, nor for the Conservative Party. They are working for us, and we have the right to hear what they have to say, whether the government like it or not.

This country is losing its thoughtful, sane, measured behaviour. Muzzling scientists is an offence against free speech and Canadian values. Shame.

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