Government action has severely degraded science in Canada and the role it should play in devising public policy, and that is bad for democracy, say three professors at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario.
Government scientists are no longer allowed to speak freely to the press or to the public and funding for scientific research has been drastically cut, write the three in an editorial in the Globe and Mail newspaper.
Science in the public interest cut
“Government science is very often science in the public interest,” says Heather Douglas, Chair of Science and Society at the university. “It’s neither science done for academic curiosity, nor science done for the sake of industry-for the sake of innovation that might turn into a commercial profit. It’s science done to protect public interests such as public health, public welfare, to protect the quality of the environment and things that are essentially communal goods.”