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Canada’s scientists urge government to “Get Science Right”

(Ottawa -April 25, 2013) The organization representing Canada’s academic staff is calling for an overhaul of the federal government’s science policy and funding for science in Canada, following renewed concerns about the impact of recent decisions on the integrity and independence of scientific research.

“Science in Canada is at a tipping point,” said James L. Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). “From the muzzling of scientists to the serious under-funding of basic research at our universities and colleges, the federal government is making dumb choices that will have serious consequences for all Canadians.”

In response to a growing outcry from researchers and academics, CAUT is launching a national campaign, Get Science Right, to highlight the negative impact of the government’s approach to science, to propose a new direction, and to encourage Canadians to take action to protect scientific integrity. 

“In the last federal budget, the government provided not a single cent in new funding for basic science -- the research that is the foundation for real innovation,” Turk stated. “This will mean that at university campuses across the country valuable scientific research will not be funded, many current projects will run out of money, and labs will be closed.”

Turk said CAUT is calling on the government to re-invest in basic research, to make the research funding agencies arms-length and to establish a Parliamentary Science Officer to provide legislators with independent and non-partisan advice.

 “Canada’s university and college researchers and scientists are saying enough is enough,” said Turk. “It’s time to stop making dumb choices, and start making right ones. We owe it to all Canadians to get science right.”

The Canadian Association of University Teachers is the national voice of 68,000 academic and general staff at 120 universities and colleges across the country.

More information on the campaign can be found at GetScienceRight.ca.