Message from Gary Corbett
This week the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest scientific society, is holding its annual conference in Vancouver.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the AAAS to Canada, on behalf of the 60,000 members of the Professional Institute including many scientists, researchers and regulators working in government departments and agencies, laboratories and institutes.
Our members are biologists, chemists, medical professionals, engineers, meteorologists and physicists, among others. But whatever their training they all serve the public good. They are on the scientific front lines protecting Canadians, preserving the environment and contributing to our economic prosperity.
Government science is living through tough times and we anticipate more challenges on the horizon so we look forward to the much-needed attention this event will bring to the pursuit of science in Canada.
I am particularly pleased to be able to provide a webcast of the session entitled “Unmuzzling Government Scientists: How to Re-Open the Discourse” being held on Friday, February 17 at the AAAS and sponsored by the Canadian Science Writers Association and the Association des communicateurs scientifiques du Québec.
Along with the webcast link, this page also brings together some other resources on this issue. This includes media coverage and a joint statement by groups representing journalists and scientists calling for a change in government policy on science communications.
We think that the muzzling of government scientists undermines our democracy and our country’s ability to meet its full potential. We believe that discussion of this critical issue should be shared as widely and as openly as possible. Who knows, the politicians might take the hint and follow our lead.