Political Suppression of Science: Lessons from Canada

Political Suppression of Science: Lessons from Canada

Postby Oscar » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:21 am

Political Suppression of Science: Lessons from Canada (NUMEROUS LINKS ON URL)

[ https://www.hakaimagazine.com/article-s ... ons-canada ]

Canadian scientists are lending support to worried American peers.

by Erica Gies Published January 23, 2017

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has touched off a mad scramble by some scientists [ https://www.wired.com/2017/01/rogue-sci ... ata-trump/ ] to back up critical scientific data as government researchers reckon with the new administration’s threats to scrub climate data [ https://insideepa.com/daily-news/trump- ... pa-website ] and strip funding for ongoing climate research. [ https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... e-research ]

In Toronto, Canadian researchers are archiving [ http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as- ... -1.3896089 ] US climate data, and University of Pennsylvania collective DataRescue [ http://www.ppehlab.org/blogposts/2017/1 ... datarefuge ] is organizing events across the United States that harness volunteers to move climate and environmental data to private and international servers.

To many, this activity may seem like an overreaction. But for some Canadian scientists, firsthand experience with government suppression of science makes these threats all too real. [ http://www.truenorthsmartandfree.ca/ ] That the White House website, taken over by the Trump administration on Friday, now makes no mention of climate change, [ https://motherboard.vice.com/read/all-r ... se-website ] further supports these worries.

During the 10-year term of Canadian Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, some government scientists were unable to publish their research [ http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/faq-t ... -1.3079537 ] or talk to the public [ http://www.truenorthsmartandfree.ca/inc ... scientists ] without minders; research was defunded or blocked [ http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/vani ... r-on-data/ ]; and invaluable data archives dating back a century were destroyed [ http://www.truenorthsmartandfree.ca/inc ... -discarded ] in acts dubbed “libricide.” [ https://thetyee.ca/News/2013/12/23/Cana ... Libraries/ ] Reports were literally tossed into dumpsters. [ https://thetyee.ca/News/2013/12/09/Dism ... y-Library/ ]

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[ https://www.hakaimagazine.com/article-s ... ons-canada ]
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Re: Political Suppression of Science: Lessons from Canada

Postby Oscar » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:28 am

USDA Lifts Clampdown On Its Science Division

[ https://www.buzzfeed.com/dinograndoni/t ... .prmMWEk2o ]

On Tuesday evening a top USDA official told scientists the order “is hereby rescinded.”

Jan. 25, 2017, at 2:57 a.m. Dino Grandoni BuzzFeed News Reporter

The US Department of Agriculture rescinded an order [ https://www.buzzfeed.com/dinograndoni/t ... .vnx82gN14 ] stopping scientists and other employees at its main research division from publishing documents meant to explain science to the public.

In an email sent to scientists on Tuesday evening and obtained by BuzzFeed News, Chavonda Jacobs-Young, administrator of the department’s science arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), told researchers the original order should not have been issued and “is hereby rescinded.”

Earlier that day, the department fought off public backlash after ARS issued the notice to workers.

While scientists were allowed to grant department-approved media interviews, publish academic articles, and present work at conferences under that order, they were banned from using a wide array of media — including “news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content” — to communicate with the public.

After BuzzFeed News wrote a story on Tuesday morning [ https://www.buzzfeed.com/dinograndoni/t ... .wsalkvJaG ] about that internal email, the Agriculture Department received a chorus of criticism from the scientific community for what many in it suggested was the suppression of science and a potential violation of its scientific integrity policy by USDA.

- - - SNIP - - - -

Instead of adhering to the previous blanket ban on publishing so-called public-facing documents, ARS will follow USDA-wide guidance that instructs scientists to get approval from top officials before answering questions “related to legislation, budgets, policy issues and regulation,” according to Jacobs-Young’s email.
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