World Federation of
Science Journalists

Canadian science journalists say: Stop muzzling Canadian government scientists

February 17, 2012 posted in Sci.Journalism 3 comments >>
The World Federation of Science Journalists joined its two Canadian member associations in asking the Canadian Government to stop making it impossible for science journalists to interview in a timely fashion scientists working for the Canadian Government.

The Québec Association of Science Communicators (http://www.acs.qc.ca/) and the Canadian Science Writers Association (http://sciencewriters.ca/) organized a panel, Friday morning, 17 February 2012, during the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Vancouver (Canada) during which science journalist Margaret Munroe (http://blogs.vancouversun.com/tag/margaret-munro/ ),  gave examples of a systematic policy of obstructions that has the effect of muzzling Canadian Government scientists.

The Friday panel, organized by science journalist Bin Anh Vu Van, of Télé-Québec science program Le Code Chastenet (http://lecodechastenay.telequebec.tv/), can be watched in its entirety at: http://hosting.desire2learncapture.com/StellarJay/4/watch/28.aspx

The World Federation of Science Journalists is a signatory of the letter published in English and French requesting the Prime Minister of Canada to unmuzzle its scientists.

Several media, in Canada and abroad, have covered the Friday morning panel which will hopefully lead to more open and easier access to the scientists working on critical issues for the Canadian public like climate change, tar sands, and fisheries:

You can find the press kit en English and French at 
http://sciencewriters.ca/  and  http://acs.qc.ca/documents/PresskitAAAS.pdf 


Open letter to the Prime Minister

English - French 



Comments
posted on February 19, 2012 by  Holly Stick
The employers of these scientists are the people of Canada, not the current partisan political party with a majority in Parliament.

Those scientists have a right and a duty to report to the people of Canada, not to or through the politicians who lie to us regularly for their own partisan purposes.

I fully support the right of the scientists to speak freely; how can we help with this?
Let government scientists speak
posted on February 18, 2012 by  Paul Ransom
We the tax paying public are the employer and we, like any private employer, are entitled to be informed of results of research proposed, in progress and completed, in a timely manner. We certainly deserve to be informed of individual scientists' opinions on positions and policies that their field of interest is pertinent to.
These are employees
posted on February 18, 2012 by  Maureen Matthew
These individuals are EMPLOYEES of the government, just because they are scientists it gives them no special rights to discuss the business of the employer (the government) unless the employer gives them express permission to do so.

If they don't want to be employees they can establish their own institutes, and use their own money to conduct their research (maybe they are independently wealth like Batman), and then they can speak on their research. Until then, their duty is to their employer!!!!

Commenting is close