Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Union of Concerned Scientists Scores a Victory

The Union of Concerned Scientists came out swinging in August when the U.S. Department of the Interior came out with a new "scientific integrity order" that centered on scientific misconduct by rank and file scientists.  The UCS was concerned that the order did nothing to thwart the real culprits skewing information reaching the public - contractors and political appointees.   That sparked a UCS protest campaign that saw the Interior Secretary swamped by more than 10-thousand letters.  Guess what?  It worked.

Here's how the UCS describes the new scientific integrity order.   Read it and ask yourself if Canadians don't need this sort of openess from our federal government:The order states that Interior will make science used or considered in making policy decisions publicly available; protect whistleblowers who expose the misuse of scientific information; and clarify government scientists’ right to share their research and scientific analyses with the public and the press. The order also allows government scientists to stay up-to-date on new research by participating in scientific societies and requires Interior to establish plans to educate staff about their rights and responsibilities.

One of the most despotic things Harper has gotten away with is gagging EnviroCan, blocking their communications with the Canadian public in order to suppress public awareness of our environmental predicaments.   We don't get access to the science used (unused) or considered (rejected) in this government's policy decisions.   As prominent scientists like the University of Alberta's David Schindler have protested, our federal environmental scientists are intimidated into silence.   They can't expose this government's misuse of scientific information.   That sort of thing simply isn't allowed in a petro-state.

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