“A recent New York Times editorial, referencing the rapid development of the Alberta oil sands, went so far as to describe new communications restrictions on government scientists as ‘an attempt to guarantee public ignorance.’” – from an open letter to the current Canadian government, signed by more than 800 scientists from 32 countries.
Image: Steve Nease, The Toronto Star
The international roster of scientists called on the Harper government to end “burdensome restrictions on scientific communication and collaboration faced by Canadian government scientists.” More detail on the story here.
The call was made in an open letter drafted by the Cambridge, Mass.-based Union of Concerned Scientists. UCS represents U.S. scientists, and fosters “rigorous science to build a healthier planet and a safer world.”
The need for this unusual intervention is strongly reinforced in a new report from the Canadian organization Evidence for Democracy. It assesses the communication and media policies of 16 Canadian federal government departments.
For more on the fight for open science and democracy, see chapters 9 and 12 in Bold Scientists. Read an excerpt here.
Canadian writer and documentary-maker Michael Riordon writes/
directs/produces books and articles, audio, video and film documentaries, plays for radio and stage.
A primary goal of his work is to recover voices and stories of people who have been silenced or marginalized, written out of the official version: First Nations (aboriginal) youth, Mozambican farmers, inmates in Canadian prisons, traditional healers in Fiji, queer folk across Canada, Guatemalan labour activists.
Michael also leads courses, workshops and seminars for community organizations, trade unions, schools, colleges and universities.