Monday, September 23, 2013

NY Times On Harper's Abuse Of Science

Over at Huffington Post, someone noticed that the New York Times spent some significant column space raking Harper over the coals for how he has abused Canada's science community.

I have talked about the consequences of Harper's micromanaging of science before on this blog (here, here, and here ... for a start), however, the NYT column cuts to the chase rather nicely:
This is more than an attack on academic freedom. It is an attempt to guarantee public ignorance.
Take close note of that one sentence.  It summarizes in a nutshell what Harper is up to.  The less that the public is aware of, and the less that we have the information needed to challenge Conservative policy in this country, the more that he benefits from it.  It isn't just Harper attacking Canadian scientists and muzzling them.  It goes far beyond that, and he is actively trying to choke science off, suppressing the basic foundational research that is needed to move things forward, focusing NSERC on "productive" research (aka Engineering work that can be commercialized).

As we are learning, Harper's dismantling the long form census has hobbled the ability of Statistics Canada to provide the information needed by all levels of government to make informed policy decisions.

In short, the man is moving to suppress the ability for Canadians to objectively critique what he is doing to this country.  It is a sad statement when the New York Times, which seldom pays any attention at all to Canada, sees fit to point this out to the world.

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