MARCH FOR SCIENCE: Actions taken . . .

MARCH FOR SCIENCE: Actions taken . . .

Postby Oscar » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:05 am

London chapter joins global 'March for Science' as Trudeau & Trump fail to fund research

[ https://canadians.org/blog/london-chapt ... d-research ]

April 22, 2017 - 8:48 am

The Council of Canadians London chapter will be taking part in the March for Science in their community today.

London chapter activist Robert Cory, a retired chemistry professor, will be among those marching this morning.

The local media release for the march explains, "The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. A diverse, nonpartisan group will unite and call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers around the world to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest."

It then highlights, "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health will see significant funding cuts if [US President Donald Trump's] proposed budget is passed."

And the local promotion for the march notes, "Meet at the NW corner of Victoria Park at 10am. We will have a few very short speeches by a First Nations representative, an environmental activist, a scientist, and a representative for Evidence for Democracy. The speakers will briefly highlight the importance of science in advancing society, improving the environment, and in policy-making decisions. We will then march around Victoria Park in a show of solidarity with other marchers around the world."

Last June, the Trudeau government appointed an Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science to be chaired by Dr. David Naylor.

CBC reporter Kelly Crowe comments that was "a welcome sign for scientists who were breathing easier after years of muzzling and open hostility from the Conservative government under Stephen Harper."

But her article then highlights, "[The] national report on the state of federal funding for fundamental research in Canada declared that the country's scientific enterprise is in serious decline. And last month's federal budget failed to provide any new money for the three federal science funding agencies. ...Across Canada, labs are closing, graduate students are losing their research jobs and some senior scientists are facing the grim reality that they might have to abandon decades of inquiry, leaving important scientific questions unanswered because there's no way to pay for the research."

The article adds that the Advisory Panel's report "explains in detail how Canadian science spending has flatlined as governments have tied science funding to political priorities. That's tipped the balance toward commercialization and industry targets and away from basic science, or what Naylor calls 'unfettered' research done by independent scientists working in universities and research centres. The result? After years of funding neglect, Canadian science is slipping compared to the rest of the world."

Lori Burrows, a professor and senior scientist at McMaster University in Hamilton, says, "Despite the Trudeau government's promise of sunnier ways for science, we are still waiting for those rays to break through the storm clouds."

There are 400 March for Science protests happening around the world today, including 18 marches in Canada.

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Re: MARCH FOR SCIENCE: London Chapter joins global event

Postby Oscar » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:12 am

Kitchener-Waterloo, Victoria, Montreal & London chapters march for science

[ https://canadians.org/blog/kitchener-wa ... ch-science ]

April 23, 2017 - 7:19 am

(PHOTO: The London chapter participating in a March for Science yesterday.)

The Council of Canadians Kitchener-Waterloo, Victoria, Montreal and London chapters took part in yesterday's March for Science.

Yesterday, Global News reported, "Thousands of scientists worldwide, including those in 18 Canadian cities, are leaving their labs and taking to the streets to protest what they say are attacks against science. The main march was organized by a group of scientists in Washington looking to protest perceived attacks on science, while satellite marches also took place in 500 cities around the world."

And CTV explains, "This first ever 'March for Science' is advocating for robustly funded and publicly communicated scientific knowledge as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. Participants say they want political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence-based policies for the public good, and to safeguard the scientific community."

Along with the marches in Waterloo, Victoria, Montreal and London, marches also took place in Vancouver, Prince George, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Sudbury, Windsor, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, and St. John’s.

Reuters reports, "While the events were non-partisan according to organizers, many marchers were in effect protesting [US President Donald] Trump's proposal to sharply cut federal science and research budgets and his administration's skepticism about climate change and the need to slow global warming. ...Trump's proposed 2018 budget calls for deep spending cuts by government science agencies, including a 31 percent reduction for the Environmental Protection Agency."

CNN notes, "Trump's budget proposal, unveiled in March, outlined $54 billion in cuts across government programs to make way for an increase in defense spending. U.S. scientists said they fear such a plan would have a major impact on research and science-based policy as well as undermine the importance of science in society and limit future innovation."

In Canada, a national report by the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science says funding from federal government sources now account for less than 25 percent of total spending on research and development in the higher education sector. The panel recommends raising annual spending across the four major federal agencies and other key entities from approximately $3.5 billion today to $4.8 billion in 2022.

CBC reporter Kelly Crowe comments, "Across Canada, labs are closing, graduate students are losing their research jobs and some senior scientists are facing the grim reality that they might have to abandon decades of inquiry, leaving important scientific questions unanswered because there's no way to pay for the research."

Lori Burrows, a professor and senior scientist at McMaster University in Hamilton, says, "Despite the Trudeau government's promise of sunnier ways for science, we are still waiting for those rays to break through the storm clouds."

#marchforscience

Tags: chapters
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Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
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Oscar
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