“Will Canada be the country that dumbed itself to death?” (iPolitics)


Foreign policy issues rarely figure centrally in Canadian politics — and in the public and media mainstream, science is an even more distant outlier.

That’s unfortunate, because science policy matters. Years of resource reductions and the centralized political control and manipulation of all public communications have deeply corroded Canadian democracy, governance and public administration.

Less visible — yet of at least equal consequence — has been the damage to Canada’s global brand wrought by the government’s ill-conceived war on science and rejection of evidence-based policy and decision-making. […]

Science — and the culture of fact and experimentation that science supports — contributes to development and security and reinforces democratic well-being. Public access to scientific findings checks propaganda and the arbitrary exercise of political power, while scientific values and methods encourage openness and transparency (through the publication of research findings), merit (through peer review), and civic values and citizen empowerment (through the expression of critical and diverse perspectives). Attacking science, and the ability of scientists to communicate freely, undercuts empirical knowledge creation, understanding and the democratic process, and blunts a key tool in the management of international relations.

Full column here