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The Canadian Government's War On Science

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the it's-not-real-science-if-it-doesn't-involve-hockey dept.

Canada 474

FuzzNugget writes "A contributor at ScienceBlogs.com has compiled and published a shockingly long list of systematic attacks on scientific research committed by the Canadian government since the conservatives came to power in 2006. This anti-scientific scourge includes muzzling scientists, shutting down research centers, industry deregulation and re-purposing the National Research Council to align with business interests instead of doing real science. It will be another two years before Canadians have the chance to go to the polls, but how much more damage will be done in the meantime?"

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Dang, Canada... (5, Funny)

eagee (1308589) | about a year ago | (#43796049)

What are you doing? You were my escape plan all during the Bush years - where am I going to go when the right finally tanks the US?

Re:Dang, Canada... (0)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43796071)

Wait - Bush and the GOP are is still in power?

How did that happen?

Re:Dang, Canada... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796103)

Mind transference experiment. It's the only explanation for how Obama is almost exactly the same as Bush.

Re:Dang, Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796213)

Mind transference experiment. It's the only explanation for how Obama is almost exactly the same as Bush.

Brain and brain! What is BRAIN? It is Controller, is it not?

Re:Dang, Canada... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796369)

Obama is right-wing from Canadian perspective, so "when the right finally tanks the US" is still applicable.

Re:Dang, Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796107)

We're all just still waiting on the change to come.

Re:Dang, Canada... (0, Flamebait)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43796229)

Re:Dang, Canada... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796275)

You're seriously going to link Breitbart and The Daily Fail as sources? They both exist to keep deranged Wingnuts angry and stupid so they don't wise up and turn back into Conservatives..

Re:Dang, Canada... (0, Flamebait)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43796313)

says the AC who reads HuffPo and gets news from John Stewart.

Re:Dang, Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796441)

What exactly does him being AC or you claiming he reads HuffPo and Jon Stewart have to do with the validity of the the Daily Mail and Breitbart as sources of information?

Re:Dang, Canada... (1, Flamebait)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43796491)

Daily Mail and Breitbart are more trustworthy than MSNBC or CNN these days, simply because they post news and analysis nobody else will. Sorry, the MSM is in the tank for the administration doesn't help your case. You may not like the political bent, but facts are facts, and if you're not getting all of them, you're being lied to.

Re:Dang, Canada... (-1, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43796505)

As for HuffPo or John Stewart, just taking a jab at the typical Lib that gets their info from these "reliable sources" ;)

Re:Dang, Canada... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43796555)

I would not trust the Daily Mail to tell me what color the sky was.

You are more likely to find facts in Pravda than the Daily Mail.

Re:Dang, Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796451)

Says the logged in user who doesn't understand logical fallacies.

Re:Dang, Canada... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796525)

Sweet fucking christ man, can you make your fingers not type something that is not completely and utterly fucking retarded? I swear you are one of the single most idiotic posters on here. Kill yourself, please.

Re:Dang, Canada... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43796531)

They both exist to keep deranged Wingnuts angry and stupid so they don't wise up and turn back into Conservatives..

Apparently they succeeded. ;D

But, just for fun, here are some more links.

A Timeline Of The IRS's Scrutiny Of The Right [npr.org]

2011

Dec. 16: Despite being briefed about the matter six months earlier, Lerner does not divulge the flagging of conservative groups when she and others from the IRS meet staff members of the House Ways and Means Committee to discuss the issue, according to the staff's timeline of events.

Tea party groups call IRS process 'nightmare' [detroitnews.com]
Higher-Ups Knew of IRS Case [wsj.com]
Reality Check Exclusive: Cincinnati agent giving orders in IRS scandal? [fox19.com]
It Didn’t End - The IRS is still stringing conservative groups along [nationalreview.com]

Now I'm curious though, when were you last conservative?

Re:Dang, Canada... (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#43796119)

How did that happen?

Many Americans have asked the same thing.

Re:Dang, Canada... (1)

ArtemaOne (1300025) | about a year ago | (#43796135)

What, can you tell a difference, other than a few more marriage equality states?

Re:Dang, Canada... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796151)

Wait - Bush and the GOP are is still in power?

How did that happen?

Obama is pretty far right compared to the Democratic party in the US, much less the rest of the first world.

Re:Dang, Canada... (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43796417)

True. He turned out to by a crypto conservative plant, a false flag operative operating under the guise of hope and change. He is right of Ronald Reagan on a lot of issues, much to the absolute horror of the actual liberals in this country.

Re:Dang, Canada... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796187)

Bush and the GOP are is still in power?

Yes, since Obama and the democrats are the same crowd. And don't expect any change after an election in Canada either, they didn't have to vote for the people they have now, but they did, and chances are that they, like the Americans, will just stick with who they think they know. The voters are to blame, as usual, but they will continue to pass the blame on the ethereal 'system'. Fuck 'em

Re:Dang, Canada... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796511)

You might want to look into gerrymandering before you put all of the blame on the voters and none on the system.

Re:Dang, Canada... (4, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#43796325)

Wait - Bush and the GOP are is still in power?

Yes they are -- power has been handed over to the New GOP (AKA Democrats) so that all the Executive branch power grabs and Constitutional abuses of the GWB era can be legitimized as the "New Normal".

Re:Dang, Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796173)

Doont worry aboot it, eh. We knoow what we're doin'. It's just the long winters. They screw with your head and make the Quebecans very French. We're dealing with one problem at a time.

Re:Dang, Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796221)

And now Canadians are trying to escape to America, based on this quote from the article:

"The policy changes that have been implemented by the federal government of Canada under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper have dramatically affected the way government information is disseminated in Canada. The Obama administration has also made changes to Communications policies in the United States; however, these changes have been in the opposite direction"

Welcome all Canuks to the Socialist States of America! We love immigration!

Re:Dang, Canada... (0, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43796355)

Funny, the current Administration sure is ignorant about a great number of important topics. The amount of "I know nothing" coming out of DC the last two weeks rivals Sgt. Schultz [wikipedia.org]

Re:Dang, Canada... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796455)

I agree. But what we're talking about here is science and scientific research.

I can understand a fiscal conservative's opinion that government has no business funding scientific research - and considering this horseshit, I would think that a liberal might side with that just for the reason of science getting politicized even more.

But when a government starts meddling with science and research because it pisses off their backers - industry - then we are headed for some serious trouble. The Bible thumpers don't scare me because, although a pain in the ass, they are easily defeated.

Industry scares me. They have the deep pockets to get their way and it's very hard to fight them.

Examples of industry screwing science over to get their way:

Cigarette industry - fought for decades that their products were safe and later, there was no proof that they were dangerous.

Automakers and every safety and pollution control system demanded. And decades ago, they fought tooth and nail to KEEP lead in gasoline. That's why it tool so many decades to get rid of it: the auto industry bullshitted the US Congress.

Fossil fuel producers and doing everything they can to misinform the public about global climate change.

Those are just off of the top of my head.

Re:Dang, Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796563)

Compared to what administration? Is it bad? Yes. Should things have been done differently? Yes. Should there be accountability? Yes. Is this any different that any other administration? Sadly no. Certainly, I would have to assume, if you are truly upset about it then you must vote 3rd party. If you don't, you're just part of the problem.

Re:Dang, Canada... (1)

mike555 (2843511) | about a year ago | (#43796365)

Why do not you let go of the taxpayer teat and do something useful for a change, for which people will pay you voluntarily instead of being coerced via "taxation"?

Re:Dang, Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796401)

Hell is always an option. It's where you're going eventually anyway.

Re:Dang, Canada... (2)

Ralph Ostrander (2846785) | about a year ago | (#43796515)

Pretty darn lucky the economy is booming dow a new record every day and the deficit heading for 2 percent of GDP not seen sense Clinton. It matters who you vote for.

And no one was surprised... (3, Insightful)

Covalent (1001277) | about a year ago | (#43796053)

If there is one thing that conservatives all agree on, it's that you should change the facts to match your agenda, not the other way around.

Re:And no one was surprised... (5, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#43796117)

If there is one thing that politicians all agree on, it's that you should change the facts to match your agenda, not the other way around.

FTFY

Re:And no one was surprised... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796133)

The US IRS, EPA, NEA, and others would agree with you; except it's Progressives doing all the damage.

Re:And no one was surprised... (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#43796185)

And sadly, I have serious doubts that the next election will change things around. The PCC is playing its cards well by pleasing their core voter base and just enough of the periphery to ensure a majority at the next elections. The biggest backlashes they get are from social groups that already don't vote for them, so their political calculation is that they don't matter.

Re:And no one was surprised... (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year ago | (#43796567)

To make things worse, the Liberal Party was decimated (more like nonagintaeted) in the most recent election, and then went on to pick a playboy (who is the son of one of Canada's most polarizing Prime Ministers) as their new leader. They do not have a hope of winning the next election. At present the only significant opposition party is the New Democratic Party, but their charismatic leader died right after the last election, and their new leader, while competent, is rather boring and hardly the sort of person who is going to inspire Canadians to elect their first ever federal NDP government. Since there is currently no strong opposition party, and it may take several years for the Liberals to rebuild, it is quite possible that the Conservatives will be in power until sometime in the 2020s.

Re:And no one was surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796415)

Funny, I always thought that was a liberal thing. Aren't you guys the ones always pushing the idea that there's no absolute truth, moral relativism, and such nonsense?

Re:And no one was surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796575)

The funny thing about that is that conservatives will always claim an absolute truth and then just change their truth while never admitting that they did, even in the face of absolute proof. Try harder fascist.

Re:And no one was surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796529)

Well, that would explain Benghazi, if Obama was a conservative. Now what's his excuse?

US Government's War On Science (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43796065)

There, fixed it for ya...

Re:US Government's War On Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796239)

As much as that may or may not be true, Canadians actually elected them.

I keep hearing that everything is better there, so they must know what they are doing, right?

Re:US Government's War On Science (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43796307)

As much as that may or may not be true, Canadians actually elected them.

To be fair, it was more of a suicide pact by the left. They forced an election when most people were profoundly sick of being expected to vote for a new government every year or so, and were rewarded with a right-wing majority.

Excuse me? (5, Insightful)

mpoulton (689851) | about a year ago | (#43796089)

A large portion of that list doesn't look anti-science. Business deregulation? Firing regulatory officials for "lack of leadership"? Discontinuing a mandatory census? Rolling back environmental regulations? Withdraw from Kyoto Accord? Changes to fisheries regulations? Procedural changes for public hearings on pipeline work? And so on... These are not "anti-science" changes. They are anti-liberal, anti-environmentalist, and pro-business political moves. Think there might be some political bias by the author of this list?

Re:Excuse me? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796129)

They are anti-liberal, anti-environmentalist, and pro-business political moves. Think there might be some political bias by the author of this list?

Sadly, while they're doing all of those things, they're discrediting the science behind it.

They make assertions which don't match facts, and then say the scientists who have the facts have an agenda.

And you wonder why so much of the US fails in a basic understanding of science? It's because the douchebag politicians do all they can to undercut science.

Maybe if your positions aren't borne out by science, it's you who has a problem with reality? You know, like the drooling trolls who say "Intelligent Design" should be treated as an equally valid theory to Evolution, even though it's anything but.

Re:Excuse me? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796223)

> Sadly, while they're doing all of those things, they're discrediting the science behind it.

Are you saying that science behind these things has a lot of credibility? You gotta be kidding me... Dude, only hard science (math, physics, chemistry, etc) has any sort of credibility -- the rest (like 'environmental' science) are just a political whores at best, where 'truth' is defined by number of paid 'papers', not by soundness of argument or reproducibility of experiments. No wonder it gets discarded on the side of the road now and then.

Re:Excuse me? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796281)

the rest (like 'environmental' science) are just a political whores at best, where 'truth' is defined by number of paid 'papers', not by soundness of argument or reproducibility of experiments. No wonder it gets discarded on the side of the road now and then.

No, the groups which do that are mostly shell companies and think tanks paid by large corporations to kick out position papers which support their claims.

People are doing actual science in many domains, and large corporations and political groups try very hard to say "see, we have science too".

That's usually a lie -- the tobacco companies claimed for years smoking wasn't harmful when they knew damned well it was.

There's science, and there's shills. It's important to know which are which. If you can convince the masses that science is just what a bunch of people want you to believe, you can undermine it to the point where you can make any claims you like.

So go find me some scientific evidence for Intelligent Design, because you can't, since there's absolutely zero science behind it.

Re:Excuse me? (1, Flamebait)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43796153)

Exactly.

There may be a few pure science projects on the list, but they are hard to find, and should have been the bailiwick of University Research
at best, not National government paper shuffling bureaucracies that take on a life of their own.

Re:Excuse me? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796331)

I clicked one of the blog-troll's links at almost random. It was a hysteria filled column about how the "EVIL Conservatives (who obviously were being lead by the EVEN MORE EVIL Bush family)" were being EVIL by removing an "Environment Canada" logo and text from the weather page. The top-rated 9000 comments were all outrage, but the most recent three explained that the "Environment Canada" web page still exists and that (gasp, shock, horror) this actually helps because the weather page had been the top response when searching for "Environment Canada," and now searching for that term actually gave you what you searched for.

After reading that, the next link could've had video evidence of their hated PM firing nuclear weapons at baby seals and I still wouldn't care.

Re:Excuse me? (5, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#43796169)

Hint: most environmental considerations come from scientific discoveries and conclusions. "Lack of leadership" is an excellent excuse to fire off people that don't align to your political views. Mandatory census is an important tool in many scientific fields to determine the state and evolution of the population. Changes to fishing regulations go against every scientific studies we've ever made. Pipeline work is being swept under the carpet so that the government can help oil producers in Alberta export their stuff more easily without bothering about public opinion or environmental concerns.

Science isn't just about particle accelerators and battery tech.

Re:Excuse me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796523)

>Hint: most environmental considerations come from scientific discoveries and conclusions.

Are statistics, and social studies no longer science? As most environmental considerations that are being changed are based on those sciences.

Sometimes one scientific theory from one field (physics, environmentalism, etc) can point to a suggested course of action that violates the theories of other fields. When that happens, the best method isn't to just plow through ANY of those fields and force it to work.

And, if you'd looked at the long form census, the questions on it were absurd enough that frankly few would be able to answer them particularly honestly. A phone survey would have done a better job asking someone what brand of toothpaste they prefer and exactly how many times on average per week they brush their teeth.

Re:Excuse me? (5, Insightful)

Covalent (1001277) | about a year ago | (#43796209)

You must be a conservative.

I hate to break it to you, but the Kyoto Accord is based on science, whether you like that science or not. This is exactly the point: you don't like the science, and neither do most conservatives, because it indicates that a BIG business (fossil fuel based energy) is bad. Since those businesses have a fair amount of money, the Kyoto Accord is pretty anti-fossil fuel business.

Despite that fact, it is still based on valid science.

Re:Excuse me? (1, Informative)

Score Whore (32328) | about a year ago | (#43796333)

Science is a method not an outcome and as such is amoral. "We must reduce carbon emissions in order to reverse global warming", is not a scientific statement.

Re:Excuse me? (1, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43796405)

Something "based on science" isn't Science. It is something "based on science". I can be against Kyoto accord (policy) for reasons other than the "science" behind it (policy). This is something liberals cannot fathom.

Kyoto Accord has about the same amount of science behind it as does the Piltdown Man did. Remember, Piltdown man was accepted as "science" for years and many PhD in sciences were awarded to people who did their Thesis on it. Just because Science claims something doesn't mean it is true.

Re:Excuse me? (5, Informative)

Again (1351325) | about a year ago | (#43796439)

You must be a conservative.

I hate to break it to you, but the Kyoto Accord is based on science, whether you like that science or not. This is exactly the point: you don't like the science, and neither do most conservatives, because it indicates that a BIG business (fossil fuel based energy) is bad. Since those businesses have a fair amount of money, the Kyoto Accord is pretty anti-fossil fuel business.

Despite that fact, it is still based on valid science.

I remember the Kyoto Accord very differently then you do. The Kyoto Accord was signed by the Liberals at the end of a very unpopular Liberal term. The Liberals never made a plan of how to meet the requirements of The Kyoto Accord because it was impossible for Canada to meet it in the specified time frame. Signing it was a recognized political joke at the time.

Full disclosure: I voted Conservative for that election and Liberal for the one after.

Re:Excuse me? (0, Offtopic)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#43796449)

You must be a conservative.

Or, if you are not one of those, you must at least be someone who can think for himself. Otherwise you'd rally to the science banner, parrot the words of your designated leaders, and reflexively condemn teh evil BIG business and fossil fuels. You really need to hone your groupthink skills, or you'll be out of the smart people club.

Re:Excuse me? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796271)

The census is clearly anti-science, in that the census today is useless far less useful a statistical point of view.

When the change happened there was very widespread protest from the scientific community and the head of stats can eventually quit over the matter.

There's also the muzzling of federal scientists and the closing of a unique (as in there is only one in the world), very long term experimental lakes research facility , and a retreat from evidence based crime policy (crime rate going down? build more prisons and bring in mandatory minimums to fill them! who cares if that's shown not to work.)

Unlimited funding or you hate science (0, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#43796363)

Not paying for every environmental or science-related pet project is "anti-science" according to this list. Unlimited funding for everything, or you hate science. Environmental groups and leftist foundations have lots of donors and extremely deep pockets. Pay for your own science if it's so important.

Re:Excuse me? (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#43796373)

And how many of these are simple funding cuts? The economy has been in various states of suckitude over the last few years so I'd expect to see plenty of cuts in government funding. Doesn't make it an anti-science conspiracy.

Re:Excuse me? (5, Informative)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#43796465)

Here's a very interesting movie about farmed salmon in BC and the ISA virus (an internationally reportable virus like mad cow). http://salmonconfidential.ca/ [salmonconfidential.ca]

Basically, the Canadian government, despite highly reputable testing, continues to deny that there is ISA and other viruses in the farms, muzzles the scientist who published research on the topic, and almost passed a law making it a felony to report on infections in livestock/farmed fish. All the while, native stocks of salmon plummet due to diseases that fill the narrow passageways in which the farms are located. And no, you can't just replace wild salmon with farmed salmon -- unless you're going to truck them out to the forest and dump them because even the trees get fertilized by dead fish that bears leave around after eating the eggs (and then of course there are Orcas and seals to feed etc. etc). The rivers can provide nutrients to an entire ecosystem including people -- farmed salmon destroy that but provide profit for big business. With most fishermen being small time business people -- guess which wins. http://oregonstate.edu/instruction/fw580/pdf/15.%20MDN%20riparian.pdf [oregonstate.edu]

Re:Excuse me? (3, Insightful)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about a year ago | (#43796577)

It's possibly more accurate to say the Conservative government here is anti-information, or anti-data. Anti-science is just part of that.

Eliminating the mandatory long-form census has made some data entirely unusable. It went from 94% participation to somewhere in the 60% range. Some areas of the country now have no information by which to base decisions on. You can correct--to a certain extent--for discrepancies that occur in large population centres where the participation rate wasn't bad and you have good anchor data from past years, but this last census was supposed to form the basis of NEW anchor data.

Statistics is science. Information collection is critical in a country as spread out and diverse as Canada.

But again, this is just one more thing on the pile. Muzzling scientists, shutting down a world-class lakes research facility (that only cost $20 million/year to run--the Conservative government has spent twice as much on advertising about how good a job they've done with the economy, and they haven't really done a great job there), ignoring scientific advice from all quarters, etc. The list is long, and it all has the same common thread throughout it: "we don't care what the data says, and if we can make sure that nobody else sees the data, they can't accuse us of making decisions that are contrary to the data".

Hand wring much? (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43796093)

Go read the list, and see if you think more than a small minority of those items affect real science in any real way.

There are a few, to be sure, but most of them are trimming of non-science paper-shuffling jobs, a shocking number
of which seem to only employ journalism majors.

Closing a Downtown Vancouver coast guard station? Really?

Re:Hand wring much? (4, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#43796159)

Closing a Downtown Vancouver coast guard station? Really?

Where do you think the data to do the science comes from? Fisheries and Oceans has closes dozens of data collection sites just in the Maritimes region alone. It's awfully hard to argue that industry is over fishing or that salmon farms are contaminating wild fish stocks when there's not data to back it up and scientist are under muzzle orders.

Re:Hand wring much? (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43796201)

It was down town rescue station. Largely redundant with Vancouver Police and Fire rescue. There was no science done there.

It wasn't part of fishery management or fishing regulation. The 12 people were re-assigned to other coast guard stations, some of which actually do get involved in fishing enforcement.

Re:Hand wring much? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#43796377)

Sorry, I'm a dear in the headlights on that one.

Most of the people in the Maritimes region that were "relocated" were then "work force adjusted" several months later, meaning the relocation was a temporary step to firing them. Then to claim "fishing enforcement" is the same as data collection used to support science!! Data collected in fishing surveys is used to determine how necessary services such as "fisheries enforcement" are, not the other way around.
You sir are off your rocker.

Re:Hand wring much? (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43796469)

Coast Guard stations do not do fishery data collection. Especially down town rescue stations in a busy port.

So if any one is off their rocker it would be the person claiming the closure of this station was anti-science.

Re:Hand wring much? (0, Troll)

scamper_22 (1073470) | about a year ago | (#43796461)

It's not a war on science.

Scientists are more than free to study and research anything. They just might not get the funding taken forcefully taken from everyone's pocket book to fund their research.

And yes, speaking of where data comes from...
What about the mandatory long form census. Do you wonder where that data comes from? From threats and violence against citizens. Threats of fines and jail time if they don't fill in the mandatory long form census.

If that's the case, then science is at war with freedom and I'll take the side of freedom any day of the week.

Considering scientists have become advocates of specific policies and ideologies instead of simply doing research, I'm in favor of defunding them as well.

If all scientists did was provide the data on things like the fishery or global warming, more power to them. The moment they come in support of carbon taxes or any kind of policy, they are not doing science any longer.

Isn't it strange how government scientists almost never push for any policies that might result in less government even when the data supports it.

For example, in healthcare, it has been largely shown that prevention does not reduce healthcare costs. Prevention has lots of benefits, but basically, most healthcare costs are in old age. The longer you live in old age, the greater healthcare costs. As a matter of fact, the prevention probably increases healthcare costs as people live longer in old age.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2008/02/05/unhealthy-study.html [www.cbc.ca]

But when was the last time these 'scientists' took on politicians who make claims about using prevention to reduce healthcare costs. From Obama to Dalton McGuinty to Mayor Bloomberg and a million others all trump up the benefits of prevention. Where are these brave scientists and advocates of truth and reason?

Why don't they speak up? Why aren't they researching the total cost of policies?

Scientists being on the government payroll and being involved in politics has ruined any notion of objective science. Sure, science is still valid in depoliticized fields... but in anything where policy is concerned, scientists have not shown themselves to be concerned with science and truth as much as ideology and policy.

Cut their funding I say in any field where policy is concerned.

Re:Hand wring much? (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | about a year ago | (#43796537)

I should say... my above comment is mainly in reference to my own country Canada.

If other countries have managed to cultivate a better scientific community, more power to them.

But in the case of Canada, and probably the US as well... scientists are simply not pursuers of science and truth, especially when they are in politically attached bodies.

umm..... (2, Insightful)

nex1998 (1155817) | about a year ago | (#43796099)

This is just a liberal laundry list masquerading as an 'objective' assessment of the conservative government's attitude toward science.
What is actually happening here is called "balancing the budget". The funding of many programs have been cut --from sports to science. Why scientists feel their programs should be immune to budget cuts when governments the globe over are practicing austerity is a mystery.

Re:umm..... (3, Informative)

MSBob (307239) | about a year ago | (#43796167)

Balancing the budget? LOL! This government has blown the hole in the budget that Canada had never seen in its entire history. The federal debt has skyrocketed under this regime while the funds to provinces were cut. The 'tax and spend' Liberals maintained balanced budgets for years and years until these clowns grabbed a hold of the steering wheel. Their first stupid move was cutting the GST by two percentage points just before the debt crisis hit. As for their approach to science they had a creationist as a minister of science; enough said.

Re:umm..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796191)

The 'tax and spend' Liberals maintained balanced budgets for years and years....

Pierre Trudeau was a Liberal. The debt is his legacy more than any other prime minister.

Re:umm..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796497)

The liberals of 40 years ago aren't the liberals of recent history. Much like the Progressive Conservatives (who I frequently voted for) are not remotely related to the current Conservative party who is in power (and I wish would drown in the Rideau River). 40 years ago we had various wacko right wing groups, the Progressive Conservatives (right of centre), the Liberals (left of center) and the NDP (lefties, but not too loony). Now we have the Conservatives (Right), Liberals (left leaning policy, right leaning budget/economy), and the NDP (loony left). The problem we have is the CONS changed the election funding laws to remove the funding per vote model that we had before. Now the best funded parties are the CONS (big business/oil) and the NDP (unions, social welfare recipients). This was a deliberate attempt to make Canada a 2 party system consisting of the loony left and the retarded right.

Re:umm..... (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43796237)

While I'm no great fan of Harper, that might have something to do with being in a global depression where every government is trying to borrow and spend their way out. Take a look at how much the national debt has exploded in other Western nations.

incomplete article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796101)

The article did not list all the "scientific" research projects that the government started funding since they came to power. I see and hear these research projects all the time on TV telling me that oil sands are good for the environment and good for the economy. Opps, I confused scientific research projects with ad campaigns.

The truth isn't so black and white. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796125)

While a good portion of the events listed genuinely hurt publicly-funded science, there are also many of them which were just removing useless, wasteful government spending. Although most of these committees and organizations have sciency names, a good portion were so mismanaged that they simply employ people to chat and browse the Internet all day, as is very commonplace in the Canadian bureaucracy, as anyone who has worked for the Canadian government knows.

If a committee is supposed to be conducting real research or studying science policy but is wholly dysfunctional, there are two appropriate courses of action: either attempt to make them useful (often prohibitively difficult in Canadian bureaucrat culture), or cut them off because they're simply a waste. I'd say a good 30% of the cuts listed fall into the latter category.

I work for the NRC.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796139)

IMO this was a long time in coming; the government provides billions in support for pure research at universities through other programs (NSERC); the NRC was set up for the whole purpose of commercializing and helping industry, not doing pure research.

I don't see a war on science, I just see a lot of people upset that the status quo is changing. I also hear from a lot of people who should make sure to go vote next time, unstill of bitching about things later..

Science in this case is another special interest (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796161)

after public funds. The author uses the word science, but in reality what this boils down to is a political viewpoint not popular with the current politicians controlling the purse strings. I'm sick of seeing the removal of public funding for something being called a "war".

Re:Science in this case is another special interes (0, Offtopic)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43796261)

Bingo. Eisenhower warned about the Military-Industrial Complex, but everyone seems to forget his other warning in the same speech about the government-science complex.

At least 90% of the results I see from government-funded 'science' look to be a total waste of my tax dollars.

Re:Science in this case is another special interes (5, Insightful)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | about a year ago | (#43796387)

Bingo. Eisenhower warned about the Military-Industrial Complex, but everyone seems to forget his other warning in the same speech about the government-science complex.

At least 90% of the results I see from government-funded 'science' look to be a total waste of my tax dollars.

The other 10% form the foundation of our economy. Most of them were unintentional. Which is why anyone who responds with the above just looks like an uninformed fool.

Re:Science in this case is another special interes (2)

farrellj (563) | about a year ago | (#43796475)

Ever been in an ICU recently? All that remote monitoring technology was "government science" developed for space travel. This internet? Yup, More government science money. Use a microwave oven? Yup, government money!

Basic science research is needed to develop ideas and test theories that could later be developed into mass use products!

War on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796165)

Well at least they wont have the tea party complaining about a "war on religion"...

Re:War on... (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#43796233)

We have the "wild rose party" in Alberta instead.

Re:War on... (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#43796431)

And the leader, Danielle Smith, is a Michele Bachmann clone.

The big roundup of intellectuals (5, Insightful)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year ago | (#43796189)

The conservatives in power at the federal level in Canada have been figuratively rounding up all the intellectuals, scientists, educators, and scholars who do not toe the line. It is disgraceful and eerily familiar to historians, who BTW are about to undergo a government investigation of how Canadian history is to be taught [ottawacitizen.com] since the conservatives do not much recognize anything but their own mythology.

Re:The big roundup of intellectuals (1, Troll)

mike555 (2843511) | about a year ago | (#43796423)

Intellectuals? WOW! I guess it is time to update dictionaries on the meaning of this word: INTELLECTUAL, noun: an arrogant person who refuses to engage in any activities of value to other people and instead insists that whatever he/she damn pleases to do "for a living" should be paid for by coercing everyone else into paying them (via taxation).

Status quo barring economic collapse (4, Insightful)

citylivin (1250770) | about a year ago | (#43796225)

" It will be another two years before Canadians have the chance to go to the polls, but how much more damage will be done in the meantime?"

This statement assumes that canadians will not re elect the conservatives again. Unfortunately, most of my fellow countrymen only care about one thing - the economy. Witness the recent election in BC where the BCliberals (really conservatives, just liberal by name) were super corrupt (head of party resigned in shame) and most people agree are doing a bad job, were re-elected. Why? They ran on the platform of creating more industry jobs, ignoring the effects of climate change, and selling off resources to china which they say will make us and our children rich.

Unless the housing market collapses, and takes the broader economy with it, before the next election, the conservatives will most likely win again. There are many theories as to why this is, but the fact is people have been led to believe that the government having closer ties to business equals a better economy. Thanks in no small part to the shit ton of propaganda (economic action plan = propping up construction sector) that reinforces this belief and glosses over reality. Science is facts, and the conservatives hate fact based policy. They base policy on ideology and authoritarianism. Its stupid and backwards, but thats been the state of canada since 2006.

Liberal axioms != "science" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796227)

Industrial deregulation is not anti-science. Science can show us that industry has consequences while we simultaneously chose to accept those consequences. Characterizing industrial deregulation as anti-science reveals an assumption that no consequences of industry are acceptable. Unfortunately for that mindset, citizens will only tolerate so much decline before they push back and elect people that don't automatically preclude all industry just because science reveals consequences.

Real science? (1)

mike555 (2843511) | about a year ago | (#43796231)

What's "real science"? Something which no one needs and therefore such "scientists" can only do their "valuable" "real science" at the expense of the taxpayer? REAL real scientists do not need to burden the taxpayer as the value of their work is recognized by businesses and is rewarded accordingly.

Re:Real science? (1)

mike555 (2843511) | about a year ago | (#43796309)

By the way, the ridiculousness of how much the title (and the content) of this article is misleading (budget cuts turned into some "evil anti-science crusade") tells a lot about these "scientists", that they will stop at noting and will pervert the facts as they need to in order to suck some more money from the taxpayer.

Ironic QotD currently displayed... (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about a year ago | (#43796245)

In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations -- it's cold, half-French, and difficult to stir. -- Stuart Keate

Why is it a "war on science"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43796249)

This "war" rhetoric is getting old. The government is not outlawing science. It isn't rounding up scientists and shooting them. The government is simply saying that it is not the national government's job to pay for every scientific program that comes along, to over-regulate business, and to fund endless discussions and committees that have no ultimate value. You may disagree with those assessments, but that doesn't mean that this is a "war on science". It's a war on how to spend money. That's a whole different issue.

alas, righties routinely deny bodies of fact (3, Interesting)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#43796279)

in favor of their own clear and true vision of paisley pink skies and money trees in the gardens of "job creators."

facts frequently are at odds with their vision/religion.

I use the terms "fact" and :"science" here in the dictionary sense, that which has been proven through rigorous and repetitive testing and discovery.

falling off your barstool after a night of swilling "Old Reaganomics" and getting an epiphany, or something, when your butt hits the tiles is not a fact.

You can perform science without the government (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about a year ago | (#43796319)

Science doesn't have to stop when the government stops paying for it. There are other was to fund scientific research.

Re:You can perform science without the government (4, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#43796433)

Yeah, let private industry do their own wild life and fish surveys and use the data to self regulate. What could go wrong?

Re:You can perform science without the government (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | about a year ago | (#43796553)

Well, if you own a fishery, it's not really in your interest to kill all the fish, is it? That would destroy your source of income. Rather it makes more sense to ensure you will have fish for a long time to come. Problems arise when:
a) tragedy of the commons - nobody owns the fishery, thus nobody is responsible, thus it's in each person's best interest to take as much as they can from the fishery, and then it gets destroyed, or
b) the people who own the fishery are incompetent.
Ideally there would be a way to solve b) before the environment gets destroyed, but doing it by removing ownership/giving ownership to a disinterested party leads to a), which sucks too.

Wait... (0)

Orleron (835910) | about a year ago | (#43796357)

Who let Canada do Science??

If you plan goes against the evidence (2)

RichMan (8097) | about a year ago | (#43796389)

Then the evidence must be suppressed.

- *sigh* this got ranty and unfocused, not goint to fix it now -

Example#1
This governments plan is to "solve crime" with a "hard on crime" agenda that is being acknowledged in Texas as not being the correct solution. The government also claims to be fiscally responsible.

So if you claim to be fiscally responsible yet want to setup and plan that is expensive and has been proven not to work you must deny the science.

The Harper Government has many many plans that ran counter to science. They slashed the census program which gathered data that was used for planning by all levels of govenment. Why they claimed it was because people complained, on file about 2 complaints in 15 years. Really it was if you want to throw money at pet projects you don't have to validate it against actual facts if the facts don't exists.

So yes this is a deliberate attack on science and it is required because they want to "govern from the gut".
In Canada our Government is Psychotic, and the general question is why have people lost faith in government? Well is because the government operates on faith and not facts.

Not an attack on science (1)

bregmata (1749266) | about a year ago | (#43796483)

Far be it for me to defend the current government, but to be fair they're not attacking science. They're simply getting out of the science business and eschewing it for the purpose of policy formation. They're not persecuting scientists or preventing science from being done outside of government circles.

Simple solution (2)

booch (4157) | about a year ago | (#43796487)

I would propose this solution:

Show that the Canadian conservatives are just following what the American conservatives are doing.

If there's one thing that Canadian politicians don't want to be accused of, it's acting like (or taking direction from) Americans.

It's reasons like this (1)

azav (469988) | about a year ago | (#43796517)

That I say "religion is poison".

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