The dark ages of Canadian scientific communication

January 23, 2012 at 9:14 am 3 comments

Back in March 2010, the Canadian government enacted a policy restricting federal scientists from speaking to the media without receiving prior government approval. At that time, we told you about the concern this caused among the Canadian Science Writers’ Association, and asked whether the “gag order” represent a significant restriction to academic freedom and integrity. Unfortunately, as is evident in today’s edition of the Globe and Mail, the gag order policy remains in effect almost 2 years later and has thrown Canadian scientific communications policy back into the dark ages.

This stands in stark contract to the United State’s “scientific integrity policy” which allows scientists to speak to whomever they choose, whenever the choose. I love Canada, we are a bastion of freedom and equality for anyone that chooses to live here. Nonetheless, do you believe that these restrictions placed upon our federal scientists threaten our status of a True North Strong and Free?

Entry filed under: Biotechnology News. Tags: , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. DF  |  January 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

    It is unfortunate that the Federal government has not quicky and decisively done away with this rubbish legislature. There is so little peer review of the media, have we again decided that the Canadian government is now fit to make this decision for us too? makes you wonder if all this power they possess could be used for political purposes…just maybe.

    In Australia for example there is a phenomenal television show whose sole purpose is to act as a peer review for news and media outlets. They publicly broadcast other stations so-called facts and then refute them. They do this not only for television but also news and commercial advertisements.

    The Canadian goverment has hid beind this countries worldwide belief that we “nice” people and that we are an “open and tollerant” country. We are only “open” if the paper pusher says so and we are only “tolerant” if it means the people must be. Now it seems even our own countrymen are falling for the ruse.

  • 2. aviwener  |  January 24, 2012 at 10:25 am

    @DF thank you for your thoughts. Peer reviewed news and media is a great idea! As critical thinking scientists, we should all be concerned with initiatives that are focused on stifling the free flow of knowledge and open communication.
    Generally I am not a “conspiracy theorist” but your thoughts about the Canadian government utilizing scientific communication censorship for political purposes is intriguing.

  • […] talked about it in the past, (see: The dark ages of Canadian scientific communication), and here it is in the House of Commons again. What shall we do? Share […]


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