I will write about the change of government here in Canada (and its likely impact on science) in a future blog post. But meanwhile, here is a fine summary of what Monday’s election may mean for Canadian science.
Although I count myself (along with most Americans) woefully ignorant of Canadian politics, I do know what fellow scientists north of the border thought of the Harper administration: they uniformly hated it. Under Harper, funding was cut, especially to environmental research, scientists were muzzled, and, as I documented a while back a scientist at Environment Canada was even suspended for writing a song (in his off hours!) criticizing the Prime Minister. That’s unconscionable retribution, and smacks of fascism. When I went to the Evolution meetings in Ottawa a few years back, scientists marched from the meeting venue to the Parliament, dressed in lab coats and protesting the administration’s attack on science.
A new article in the Guardian documents these and other abuses of science and claims that the anti-science stance of the Harper administration helped bring it down:
All of these efforts began to attract significant domestic and international attention. There were numerous…
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Jerry Coynes summary is good but not excellent. However, many of the comment are ignorant in both the formal and informal sense of the word.
You say that Dr Coyne’s piece is good, not excellent? Sure, but that’s an entirely personal concept. Just like an excellent clam chowder will not rank highly to someone who doesn’t eat seafood. But I am more intrigued with your comments regarding comments. You wrote “many of the comment are ignorant in both the formal and informal sense of the word.” Why would comments be perceived otherwise – by at least some of the readers?
You are correct.
Thanks, Veronica. But I also get your point that comments are too often made with an air of knowledge and certainty but are based on weak knowledge (i.e,, based in ignorance). And in the case of Jerry Coyne’s piece, some such comments came from people who have never lived in Canada. Thank you for taking the time to write and getting me to think about this.
Sorry, my last comment was a cop out. You ask, “Why would comments be perceived otherwise – by at least some of the readers?”
This is true; however, lately when Coyne posts on Canada I cringe. It seems that many in Coyne’s fan club want to take what he says without question. Good examples are http://is.gd/sPzfMQ and http://is.gd/sPzfMQ.