5
   

O Canadian scientists!

 
 
Reply Wed 15 Feb, 2017 09:57 am
In the face of Trump's administration's repression of scientists, a Canadian scientist, Wendy Palen, associate professor of biology at Simon Fraser University, offers advice to her beleagured American coleagues,

Quote:
Just as the American science community is now struggling with whether to speak out and march or stay quiet and do its work, Canadian scientists wrestled with the same questions. Ultimately, Canada’s scientific community came together to save our research, galvanized support to fight back, and captured the attention and concern of the public. I hope our experience — in the spirit of science transcending borders — can be instructive.


Apparently, scientists in Canada underwent similar persecutions under Stephen Harper's ministry what with ministerial censoring of federal scientists' free speech, ministerial "minders" present at scientists' interviews and conferences, "the government would simply deny permission for a scientist to speak with reporters if that person’s findings ran counter to Mr. Harper’s political agenda," she writes.

Research libraries were closed, and data and reports were destroyed.

The straw that broke the camel's back was when the Harper ministry passed a bill that eliminated and curtailed Canadian protection laws.

Palen wrote:
Fearing the continued erosion of even the most basic protections for food inspection, water quality and human health, Canadian scientists filled Ottawa’s streets in the Death of Evidence march. That theatrical mock funeral procession became something of a cultural touchstone. It was a turning point that galvanized public opinion against Prime Minister Harper’s antiscience agenda. By the next election, Justin Trudeau’s center left government swept in on a platform that put scientists’ right to speak and the promise of evidence based decisions alongside job creation and economic growth.


Quote:
So here’s our advice as the Trump administration gears up. Spotlight and champion scientists’ refusal to kowtow to intimidation. I’m encouraged by what has already emerged: When Mr. Trump’s transition team circulated a questionnaire intended to identify staff members who had worked on climate change policies under President Obama, Department of Energy employees refused to release their names. When National Park Service employees were prevented from sharing information on social media, they created alternative Twitter accounts overnight and tweeted the truth about climate change and pollution from dusk to dawn.


more...
 
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Feb, 2017 10:42 pm
Americans tend to think of Canada as an advanced, progressive country. I didn't realize that Harper had Soviet style monitors sitting in on scientists' interviews and worse. Doesn't fit with our image of Canada at all.
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2017 11:45 am
@Blickers,
That comes not from being Canadian or American, it comes from being conservative.

0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2017 11:46 am
@Blickers,
It is one of the reasons he lost the federal election to the degree he did - and why he no longer leads the Conservative party.
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2017 10:23 pm
@ehBeth,
When dealing with other advanced Western nations, you can't always go by labels like Left or Conservative. For instance, Margaret Thatcher, who was considered very akin to a UK version of Ronald Reagan, ran on a platform of strongly supporting the National Health System. 30 years later, American conservatives are still opposed a national health care system. You would think American Democrats and UK Labor would be a match, but I find that some British Conservatives sound fairly moderate and even hold positions that would be considered liberal over here. I heard a British comedian once say that America has a conservative party and a very conservative party.

I was unprepared to hear this sort of thing come out of Canada.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2017 10:32 pm
@InfraBlue,
Thanks for clarifying that.

Peril seems to rocket about, from my point of view, and even to Canada.
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2017 10:33 pm
@Blickers,
ran on a platform of strongly supporting the National Health System.
============

I believe it is safe to say, others can correct me, Thatcher knew she had to to get elected.
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2017 10:35 pm
I wonder, will it be as bad under Trump as it was under Bush.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2017 10:38 pm
@camlok,
Are you kidding?

Not to mock you, but that seems to me a mild idea.
Blickers
 
  3  
Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2017 10:41 pm
@camlok,
Quote camlok:
Quote:
I believe it is safe to say, others can correct me, Thatcher knew she had to to get elected.

I agree with you. But for someone who was considered Ronald Reagan's philosophical mate, Thatcher had some leftist ideas by American standards. At least on social issues, the UK and most advanced countries have their midpoint to the left of the US midpoint.

That's why I'm so astonished to learn of what Harper was doing to the scientific community.
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2017 10:41 am
@Blickers,
The NHS is the closest thing we have to a national religion. Thatcher wasn't stupid.
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2017 10:43 am
@ossobucotemp,
Understatement perhaps.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2017 10:53 am
@izzythepush,
Harper was stupid. He didn't realize how strong the counter-reaction would be. He was socially very progressive, economically centre-right, and crazy right on some science issues. He tripped over his own feet. He had very little real-life experience that wasn't inside politics. He's one of only two politicians whose hand I refused to shake on meeting.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2017 10:56 am
@Blickers,
Blickers wrote:

When dealing with other advanced Western nations, you can't always go by labels like Left or Conservative.


hahahaha

I keep forgetting that you're fairly new around here.

I don't go for American-style political descriptions. I'm a politicalcompass person.

American politics runs from right to far-right to in the ditch right when you look at the political compass.
0 Replies
 
 

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