Science Journal to Feds: Stop Muzzling Scientists

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posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 03:12 PM
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Science Journal to Feds: Stop Muzzling Scientists


www.torontosun.com

The international science journal Nature is calling on Canada's Conservative government to "set its scientists free" and allow them to speak to the press in the interest of free-flowing scientific information.

...the journal says media interactions with government scientists in North America have changed over the past six years, as U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has promoted openness with the press for its scientists and ...Harper's government has gone the opposite way.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.cbc.ca
montreal.ctv.ca
www.thestar.com
www.montrealgazette.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
SCI/TECH: UK, US Criticized by Scientists
NEWS: NIH Bypasses Need for Open Access Legislation
SCI/TECH: Winds of Change: Science Goes Open Source
Saving Public Access to Scientific Information




posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 03:12 PM
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There's a reason my avatar says Open Access Advocate - I advocate Open Access to information, especially scientific information.

Science is not and should not be a political football. Just the facts, please - and let everyone come to their own opinion.

As it stands, we are fed political opinions that we're told are facts.

It really sucks.

This particular part of the story goes back a few years:


Harper's Humiliating Muzzle on Scientists

Canada is becoming a global joke as our world-class experts are prohibited from speaking.


Federal scientists muzzled despite 'openness' policy

Climate-change scientists feel 'muzzled' by Ottawa: Documents

Time to clean it up.







www.torontosun.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 2/3/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)
edit on 2/3/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 03:22 PM
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here, here I agree. Now because it is normally research which could affect the bottom line of a government corporation relationship, little will be done. Another plea from which no one listens



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 03:24 PM
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I don't know what this so called prime minister is thinking. Majority of canadians would not support any supression of information , twisitng of data , and just outright minipulatin. I remember the milk scandel with health canada , and then a post interview of it a year or so ago , and the guy warned that it was worse now , and canadians should wake up .

Its a serious problem and needs to be dealt with . We need some new laws on it. 25 years per infraction of any government servant , involvement in any obstructions when it comes to scientists . That will send out a good message. I would be sick of it too if i was the scientists. They think because they have rank they can walk all over you , your data , your "truth : , your freedom of expression lol.

No. I think harper should be first one charged if convicted of any obstruciton of anykind or w/e degree lol. 25 years !



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 03:24 PM
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Dear soficrow,

I assume (perhaps wrongly) that scientists get a lot of money from governments. Isn't there a huge temptation then for the government to use the scientists for their own purposes? I don't know how to get around that temptation. Give a bazillion dollars to a board consisting of scientists and let them decide where it's spent? Maybe, but that's just moving the temptation to a different group of people.

As so often happens in this field, I think it's really wrong, and I don't know how to make it right.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Between this and the blatant abuse of civil rights I personally witnessed with my own eyes at the G-20 in 2010 - I'll just say this:

If you replaced the "arp" with "itl" in Stephen's last name, I honestly wouldn't know the difference...



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952

I assume (perhaps wrongly) that scientists get a lot of money from governments.


Oh dear, NO!!! Taxpayers give scientists a lot of money - government is just a funnel.



Isn't there a huge temptation then for the government to use the scientists for their own purposes?


Partly - but what's really happening is that government is censoring the data, controlling the information flow and allowing big corporations to benefit over the taxpayers (who are footing the bill).

As the source article says, "muzzling scientists" used to be a big problem in the US, but the problem has since been addressed.


2005: U.S. Still Silencing Scientists

More than 200 biologists and other researchers in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirm that they have been directed to alter their official scientific findings, says a survey released last week. The scientists say business interests apply political pressure to reverse scientific conclusions that might interfere with profits, including timber, grazing, development and energy companies. "The pressure to alter scientific reports for political reasons has become pervasive at Fish and Wildlife offices around the country," says Lexi Shultz of the Union of Concerned Scientists. According to critics, the Bush administration routinely alters science to suit political objectives.


.....Not too long ago, a Canadian legislator publicly stated, "Canada is a corporate-government partnership, always has been a corporate government partnership, and always will be." (In a film interview about the new copyright legislation.)

No American politician would ever make such a statement. But Canadian conservatives do, and Canadian citizens seem unconcerned.



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952
As so often happens in this field, I think it's really wrong, and I don't know how to make it right.


The cool thing about the scientific establishment and the peer-review system is it's very self-policing. If there's someone BS'ing, especially on political grounds, you can bet your bottom dollar plenty of others will step up to call them out on it.

There's this common (paranoid, tinfoil) misconception that scientists like to all collude together to advance secret agendas, but really it's the opposite that is true: The entire field is extremely competitive, full of ego-driven eggheads who LOVE standing OUT from the herd.

It's rare that you see them come together on topics unless there really is overwhelming scientific evidence, or they have a reason like this - ie. being persecuted by outside forces.

I think when you look at this scenario - the Conservative Canadian government, which has enormous ties to the Alberta Tar Sands and fossil fuel industry in general, is clearly trying to get them to toe the company line - and they are in fact refusing to do that. So good on them!



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 04:36 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 


lol.


And excellent little explanation just above. Thank you.



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 

Dear mc_squared,

Perhaps science could do more to burnish their image. I remember Alar, now AGW, the coming ice age that was announced in the 70's, the population explosion, and the fellow (I don't remember his organization right now) who said "You have to balance honesty with being effective." I'm sorry, but somewhere along the line I've picked up the idea that scientists can have agendas too.

But please, talk me out of it. I want to believe in the objectivity of science. Truly.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 



.....scientists can have agendas too.

But please, talk me out of it. I want to believe in the objectivity of science. Truly.


Nerds and geeks are notoriously blindered, much like artists - you know that. Those who have the mental capacity to create a personal agenda seldom get past the one about keeping their job, paying the mortgage and avoiding foreclosure. ...The agenda is corporate.

Those scientists who do get on a soap box tend to pay, and keep paying. Like Pauling, Prusiner (who took it up the butt until the international community gave him a Nobel Prize), and let's not forget all the fired whistleblowers (I forget their names) and dead microbiologists.

With all due respect, your friend,
sofi

edit on 2/3/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 05:40 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 



I already made a thread about this the other day. But it's okay with me because mine fell through the cracks somewhere. Besides, it never really took off.

Here it is

Maybe you can resurrect it?
Good luck because it's an awesome topic to discuss



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Charles1952 - science is all about questioning things and challenging ideas and so forth.

The science behind AGW has actually been around much longer than the "cooling scare" of the 1970's. It has in fact been around for over 150 years now, well before Al Gore or any mention of carbon taxes or anything like that.

See this link for some great information and perspective:
The Discovery of Global Warming

It's also been in the public lexicon from as early as the 1950's:


What happened in the 1970's though was that some scientists challenged the idea mainly because other evidence existed that we were also polluting our air with aerosols that block sunlight - and the Earth was naturally heading towards an ice age anyway (which takes 1000's of years though).

The truth is however, despite the fact the "ice age" claims got some nice sensationalist play in the contemporary media, they still represented the minority scientific opinion of the time. See this link for more info:
What were climate scientists predicting in the 1970s?


1970s ice age predictions were predominantly media based. The majority of peer reviewed research at the time predicted warming due to increasing CO2.


And the whole movement was soon defeated by the facts anyway - ie. continuously rising temperatures that further indicated a significant human contribution towards warming despite the fact we were also pumping out cooling influences like aerosols to counteract this effect.

Anyway - yeah there's a lot of political BS involved too one way or the other. But there's really just as much, and IMO in fact way waaaaay more political BS trying to undermine and deny the science saying AGW is real.

If you want to avoid those landmines I suggest reading the first link I left above from the AIP and see how much genuine science there is behind this, and how much of it is rooted in fundamental physics that can't be politicized because they are axiomatic to everything we know and understand about the universe we live in.

Those physics are something that I myself have a degree in and can vouch for, so if the whole thing is a politically driven hoax - then it goes back 150 years and there's hundreds of thousands of people just like me who must all be in on it too



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
reply to post by mc_squared
 


lol.


And excellent little explanation just above. Thank you.


Hehe thanks
I just can't believe how prevalent this total MYTH still is that politicians and the world's scientists are in bed together when it comes to climate change.

I mean when you listen to all of today's Republican candidates in the U.S. they sound like bona fide ATS members:
Rick Santorum: I've Never Believed In The 'Hoax Of Global Warming'

Meanwhile Congress there has basically legislated now that climate change doesn't even exist:
Republican-Controlled Committee Legislates That Climate Change Does Not Exist


And here you have all this evidence that the Canadian government is attempting the exact same thing, totally at odds with the scientific community. So people really need to stop mindlessly regurgitating these silly memes and start looking at the basic facts:

Scientific Consensus on Global Warming


My favourite one of them all though is this idea that "they" used to call it global warming but then "they" had to switch to climate change.

If you look at the facts you see that the scientists have actually been calling it climate change from the start. It was actually the Bush administration who instigated the popular lingo-shift away from global warming because they felt "climate change" was less threatening, less urgent, and therefore easier to downplay and DENY:





If the people who constantly regurgitate this common meme understood it's true origins - and grasped the irony of how backwards they actually have the whole thing - then maybe they'd start to see what's REALLY going on here...


edit on 2-3-2012 by mc_squared because: fix bad youtube link



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 08:51 PM
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I don't understand why some people thinks that everybody option has the same value in all issues... Some options don't have same value, don't matter how much you don't like the idea.

Its like asking the opinion of a medical doctor about how to build a building... A building engineer opinion has more value, period.
edit on 2/3/12 by blackcube because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 02:35 AM
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Let's not make this about global warming. Fact is, there are HUGE numbers of issues that are politically controlled, including: GMO; growth hormones in milk and meat cattle; hospital acquired infections; and many many more - not to mention prions.

For example, I have been monitoring prion research and ranting about the situation for years - reporting that prion diseases are more prevalent than anyone admits, that prions cause a range of chronic diseases as they move through the body from the gut to brain, yada yada.

I raged about Bush's prion gag order back in 2004; I have had Google alerts on the topic forever, and have pored through all the Pubmed references, independent publications and European reports. Not once did I see any reference to Canada's PrionNet. Imagine my surprise when it popped up on my Google Alert late last year - and my astonishment when I went to the site to learn it has been in existence since 2005!!!

I really, really do not think I could have "overlooked" such an agency and funding initiative.


PrioNet Canada (2005-12)

Focus:
To develop strategies to mitigate, and ultimately eradicate, prion diseases. The Network delivers sound scientific advice to help the Canadian government plan policies and regulations to manage the impact of prion diseases.


Hmmm. Guess somebody let the cat out of the bag and now they're gonna put a harness on the little sucker.




edit on 3/3/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 02:48 AM
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I often wonder what the world would be today if information wasn't kept from the people. Not only in the US, but the entire planet.

All of these national security threats wouldn't be threats if they spent their time on things other than weaponizing every piece of scientific research they came up with.

I truly believe this is why we do not have clean renewable resources. The guys who decided they owned all the fossil fuels that took millions of years to form and each of the 7 billion people on this planet has equal ownership of, don't want any competition with they profits.

With all the technology of the last 40 years are we really supposed to believe we have not technologically advanced past the need for fossil fuels? Yet we have GPS than can pinpoint where on the planet you are.

I just see a huge discrepancy in what we could know, and what we think we know.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 09:30 AM
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reply to post by cconn487
 



I just see a huge discrepancy in what we could know, and what we think we know.


Censorship of scientific information and manipulation of educated thinkers is not new of course - think of Socrates, Galileo and Copernicus; more recently, LaMarck and Agassiz.

As far as an under-informed, mis-informed and better manipulated public goes, why else might there be "secret societies"? ...Such societies allow organizations besides the church and ruling financiers to archive knowledge, and of course, provide fodder for the "officer class" designed to work with the priests to keep the peasants in line.

All of which goes towards explaining why I love the Internet and tend to sympathize with those protecting this wonderful resource and exposing the lies. ...A few months of unrestricted research on the free net is worth far more than a Master's Degree at any university. The problem for the ruling class is, Open Access bypasses the censorship and avoids the manipulation of sensibilities and loyalties.

...In the end, it's all about population control. Always has been, always will be. Except now, we have the tools to fight for our right to know.






edit on 3/3/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 



Let's not make this about global warming.


Apologies - wasn't trying to hijack your thread or anything. It's just I've actually been following this story for a few years now, and the whole fiasco started with the specific muzzling of climate scientists for holding views in favour of AGW (as outlines in the links in your 2nd post).

I believe this decision to call out Stephen Harper in Nature likely also emerged from the recent AAAS meetings in Vancouver where climate change communication was a central topic, and the scientists resolved afterward to become more proactive in their fight against all the political propaganda levelled against them for simply reporting the facts.

So it certainly shouldn't overshadow other concerns either, but it's a big piece of the pie any way you slice it.


Besides - I've learned there's really no way to discuss this issue on ATS in an open, civil manner unless you tap into related threads that are already being discussed in a civil manner. Start any thread on its own about global warming and immediately out come the political idealogues who automatically blurt out false memes spoonfed to them by blatant political sources while they gripe away about how "politicized" the whole thing is...


It seems most reasonable people around here then don't want to touch this topic with a 20-foot pole just for fear of being associated with all the "extremism".


And if that's the case - then it's a serious shame, because we don't even need to worry about the dialogue being muzzled. We are doing a perfectly fine job of censoring ourselves.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 



...it certainly shouldn't overshadow other concerns either, but it's a big piece of the pie any way you slice it.


I see that. ...If people recognize that "science" is manipulated to pull our strings, in general, then we can all bring a more healthy scepticism to the much needed "evidence-reviews."



Besides - I've learned there's really no way to discuss this issue on ATS in an open, civil manner unless you tap into related threads that are already being discussed in a civil manner. Start any thread on its own about global warming and immediately out come the political idealogues who automatically blurt out false memes spoonfed to them by blatant political sources while they gripe away about how "politicized" the whole thing is...


lol - I've done that too. Just ask the old members how I go on about prions and bring them up everywhere.



....we don't even need to worry about the dialogue being muzzled. We are doing a perfectly fine job of censoring ourselves.


Yep. It's the old "sheriff psychology" gambit - play a few people, get them to pitch your cause and watch the effects grow exponentially. Just remember - what good for the goose is good for gander, two can play that game, and eventually, bs piled on bs might just cancel itself out.





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