Muzzling scientists could harm our health, safety, and environment
To serve the public interest, government scientists must be free to speak with Canadians about their research.
The federal government has placed unacceptable political controls on public science. It has muzzled scientists and politicized the research carried out by its departments and public agencies.
A major survey of federal government scientists commissioned by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) found that:
- 90% feel they are not allowed to speak freely to the media about the work they do;
- Faced with a departmental decision that could harm public health, safety or the environment, about 86% would face censure or retaliation for doing so;
- The survey found that nearly three out of every four federal scientists (74%) believe the sharing of scientific findings has become too restricted in the past five years;
- Nearly the same number (71%) believes political interference has compromised Canada’s ability to develop policy, law and programs based on scientific evidence.
What we want:
- To serve the public interest, government scientists must be free to speak publicly about their findings.