As they come together in Ottawa for a biology conference, these professionals will gather on Parliament Hill on June 10 to mourn what they call the ‘Death of Evidence.’ They will hold a funeral procession from the conference center to Parliament Hill.
The organizers cite job cuts at Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Library and Archives Canada, the National Research Council, Statistics Canada and more as proof that this government does not care about evidence-based knowledge. They specifically mention the Conservative government’s decision to make the long-form census voluntary, which will make statistics less generalized and will have a major effect on research for years to come. There have also been cuts to grant programs which fund scientific research in all different fields.
The organizers plead:
If you are fed up with the closure of federal scientific programs and muzzling of scientists, if you think that decisions should be based on evidence and facts instead of ideology, then please come out and show your support.
Gary Goodyear, the Minister of State for Science and Technology, took exception to the way the government cuts have been portrayed by researchers and in the media, saying they are being exaggerated. He told Postmedia that his government is spending on science at “historic levels.” The spending, though, seems to go to scientists who agree with the government and are willing to keep quiet about their research.
Photo Credit: Vivien Rolfe