Stand Up for Science – Nationwide Rallies– A Message from Gary Corbett
September 16, 2013
Thank you all for coming out today in support of Canadian science. PIPSC represents more than 20,000 scientists, engineers and researchers across the country. They provide the research and evidence to develop strong policies, regulations and programs that defend the public interest and support social and economic progress.
Unfortunately we are witnessing an undermining the foundations of Canadian science through cuts to programs and departments, through unnecessary political intervention in research, and through the direct and indirect muzzling of scientists.
Despite this government’s claims that cuts to the public service are not affecting back-office jobs, cuts to essential scientific programs and services have undermined our scientists’ ability to serve the public good. Research facilities have been downsized or, in some cases, completely eliminated. Departmental science mandates are not being met. And despite the fact that science is absolutely essential in the development of sound public policy, science is ignored and neglected. Scientists, engineers and researchers are witnessing firsthand how these cuts are undermining the public interest.
New communications and media relations policies have limited the ability of federal scientists to speak directly to the media and the public. These measures have led to a reduction in the number of reporters who even bother contacting federal scientists. This is not the kind of democracy that I want to live in. Public science must be accessible to the public.
We are grateful to those scientists who have risked their careers to speak out about muzzling. And we are thankful to the many Canadians who are speaking out about the state of science in their country.
Public science is in a state of emergency. Reinvestment in Canada’s science and research capacity must be a national priority. The time is long past to put an end to the shameful and unnecessary political intervention in science and the muzzling of scientists, which is doing so much damage to our global reputation.
We look forward to working with you to achieve these important objectives.