Julie Ireton (CBC News):
Members of Canada’s long-silent scientific research community are increasingly speaking out during this year’s federal campaign as they desperately try to make science an election issue.
Academics and researchers have loudly criticized the federal government’s handling of science policy, from the elimination of approximately 5,000 science-related jobs, the scrapping of the long form census, the closure of several environmental and pollution research projects to the inability of federal scientists to speak publicly about their work.Jules Blais, a biology professor at the University of Ottawa, calls cuts to science-related jobs “targeted strikes.”
Like many Canadian scientists, Blais considers himself non-partisan and said he’s not campaigning for any particular party, but that he and others are speaking out for the need to protect independent scientific research.
“Science has always been apolitical by its nature, but in recent years because of the dramatic changes that we’re seeing in the way science is being done, and science is being conducted, it’s increasingly a political issue,” said Blais.