Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Decline and fall of Canadian Science: the muzzle

              Canada, land of the free, right? Well, maybe.. maybe..

              Take a look at this latest piece of "Orwellian" NewsCrafting on the part of the Harper government. This is so wacky, I could not possibly make it up. I simply don't have enough imagination.

                "Hundreds of researchers from around the globe arrived in Montreal this week to attend the International Polar Year Conference, but those scientists working for Environment Canada were also accompanied by so-called "media relations contacts" tasked with monitoring and recording interactions with the press"  

            Climatologist Andrew Weaver compared this to Stalinist era science policy in the Soviet Union: scientists who were allowed to attend international conferences were accompanied by a "minder" to monitor their statements. Get off track and your career is kaputsky.. And now, wonder of wonders, we seem to have a acquired a modified version here in good ol' freedom lovin' N. America. This is like duh, too weird to be true. But weirdly, it is..

                  Aside: The Harper government has taught us one thing: expect the unexpected / attendre l'inattendu.

                  It gets so bizarre - there's no other word for it! - that even published results - sic! - are being censored:

                  "The groups noted that last fall Environment Canada had prevented David Tarasick from speaking about his ozone layer research, which had been published in the journal Nature, and that earlier the Privy Council Office had stopped Kristina Miller, a researcher at Fisheries and Oceans, from granting interviews about her work on sockeye salmon decline in B.C., findings previously published in the journal Science" 

                 From a purely logical point of view, why censor published work (unless, of course, you figure the public is too stupid to read technical works)?

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