Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pressuring Harper-The-Clown In Restoring Science Funding

Yes, yours truly signed on to this (emphasis added)

PM urged to restore science funds
More than 2,000 scientists galvanized into 'Don't leave Canada behind' campaign

More than 2,000 researchers, including some of the country's most respected scientists, have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister calling the funding cuts in the January budget “huge steps backward for Canadian science.”

“When U.S. researchers are being actively approached for ideas to use the stimulus money to think big and to hire and retain their researchers, their Canadian counterparts are now scrambling to identify budget cuts for their labs, while worrying about the future of their graduating students,” the letter says.

But at the same time, one of the mathematicians who organized the letter said Canadian scientists must accept some of the blame because they have not been able to get their message across that funding basic research is important both for itself and for the economy.

“We don't blame the government. We only blame ourselves. We don't think there was anyone talking for front-line researchers,” said Nassif Ghoussoub, a respected and influential mathematician at the University of British Columbia.
While I agree in good part with this assessment, I nevertheless place equal blame on A) those patsies currently heading the various science funding councils (CIHR, NSERC, etc.), and B) the Christian fundies ignoramuses that are Harper, Goodyear, et al..

Having shining new buildings and/or state-of-the-art equipment will mean nothing if there can be no monies to actually do research - you know, paying for reagents to conduct experiments, paying graduate student salaries and paying research personnel salaries.

A couple of weeks ago, someone rose up in the House of Common and put on record utter ignorance-based pro-creationism claptrap - without anyone else rising afterwards to rebuke such stupidity. Understandably, it would seem, considering that Christian fundamentalist/evangelical voters have apparently become a precious commodity to be flirted with and pandered to.

For a while now, my mind has been having double-takes, making me wondering whether I am living in the U.S.A. of 1809 instead of Canada in 2009.

It says a lot about how far down our country has been going, eh?


  1. To be fair, James Lunney's statement had no time for rebuttal, it was during the "Members statements" which are often used to spout partisan lines. Unfortunately, no opposition parties have questioned the Conservatives on their scientific stances (as far as I know).


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