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Canadian Scientists Urge U.S To Protect Science Under Trump

First Posted: Dec 21, 2016 10:12 AM EST
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Many years ago several Canadian scientists gathered on the Parliament Hill in Ottawa putting on their white lab coats as a protest against what they called the "death of scientific evidence." This team of scientists has even conducted a mock funeral procession with their prepared eulogies.

They seemed to be waging war fighting on draconian restrictions on scientists' engagement with the media. Along with the protest is the proposal of a national science budget that slashed research funding and closed several research centers.

According to National Post, some of the government's actions took Canadian scientists by surprise. Now, many of them have given warning to their U.S counterparts to be vigilant and not to be similarly caught off guard under Donald Trump's election victory.

Reports claimed that several organizations are offering help to the U.S scientists in backing up their data. Furthermore, they are urging them to make the case in public to inform people about the importance of their research in health and environment.

"There was a feeling that the government was not interested in expert opinion, and I think it's the same kind of thing that you are probably going to see the new [Trump] administration" in the U.S., David Tarasick, a senior research scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada said.

Tarasick added that Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government had prevented him from speaking to the media about the compelling research entitled ""Unprecedented Arctic Ozone Loss in 2011".

According to the Canadian Union, there is no substantial funding to support climate change research under Harper's administration. Without enough funding, Canadian scientists often traveled to other countries where they believed they could get funding for researchers.

Now, U.S President Trump has already launched opening salvos against science and the press. Trump has also pledged to slash or shrink multiple federal science agencies. After the presidential inauguration, thousands of U.S scientists signed protest letters. Some science organizations are even offering to counsel the Trump's transition team.

"In Canada, the government was subject to a lot of criticism because of the message control, and it's regarded to have contributed significantly to their loss in last year's election. One of the new government's very first acts was to declare that scientists were free to speak to the media," Tarasick said.


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