World Federation of
Science Journalists

Canadian Science Journalists denounce lack of access to government scientists

October 20, 2010 posted in Sci.Journalism
Kathryn O’Hara, President of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association, in a paper published in the 30th September issue of Nature, asks the Canadian government to abide by its promises of transparency and accountability.

Kathryn O'Hara, President of the Canadian Science Writers' Association
“In short, writes Ms. O’Hara, the information policies of the Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper are muzzling scientists in their dealings with the media.”

Ms. O’Hara gives several examples of instances where, for example, climate scientists in the Environment Department “were prevented from sharing their work at conferences, giving interviews to journalists, and even talking about research that had already been published.”

The ‘World View’ piece describes how the pre-approval process imposed on all Canadian federal government scientists has become a tool to massage and manipulate information to fit with the Conservative government’s agenda. “Consequently, adds Ms. O’Hara, Canadians learn little about the results of their wider government science.”

In an effort to modify the government’s policy, the Canadian Science Writer’s Association – member of the World Federation of Science Journalists – “is asking for timely access to federal scientists whose research is published in journals or presented at conferences open to the media”.

Read the full Nature article at:


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