Monday, March 2, 2009

Reloaded: The State Of Science In Harper Land


The anti-science Harper bullies are striking back.

It's pretty simple folks - the backwater Harper and his Harpies see no value in basic scientific research.

They'd rather subsidize corporate R&D by in effect forcing university/college scientists to work on corporate R&D projects - for free.

But here's the problem: without basic research, there can be no new ideas, findings, discoveries to fuel applied sciences - whether technological or medical.

Also, investing in infrastructure alone does not help scientific research - because you spend more on reagents and salaries (students, research personnel) when scientific research is being done. No money for these means no research done. You end up with shiny new/renovated research buildings with no one to work there - not even scientists.

Because typically, if you are a scientist at a university (and thus a professor), no research grants means no graduate students (professor-scientists have an obligation to train grad students - it is part of their job description) and, in short order, likewise means that said scientist-professor is fired.

No basic research therefore means, in the end, a massive loss of working highly skilled folks, a lack of formation of the next generations of highly skilled folks, a loss of novel ideas/findings/discoveries to fuel applied sciences, and therefore a stagnation - if not degeneration - of Canada's position among other industrialized nations with regards to advanced scientific developments.

It is indeed as simple as 1+1=2 or, rather in the present case, 1-1=0.

So again - welcome to Harper Land.

Any questions?

(P.S. Chrystal Ocean, Canadian Cynic and Dr. Dawg have more ...)

4 comments:

  1. "Without basic research, there can be no new ideas, findings, discoveries to fuel applied sciences - whether technological or medical."

    Fits right in with an ideology which supports 'intelligent design', the preservation of 'family values', and the notions that earth is but 6,000 years old and humans walked with dinosaurs. Such ideology cannot withstand scrutiny. Hence, shut down the scrutineers.

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  2. I guess it's not surprising that Harper's science minister announced new research funding for a Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research (note order of words in title) and new Business-Led Networks to support "specific business research needs". What has basic research ever provided? Let's make money!

    Like the tide, the brain-drain goes in-and-out, in-and-out...

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  3. ... and eventually dries up.

    Yup.

    Exactly.

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