Sunday, 24 July 2016

Post 88: Science Advocacy in Action! Participate!

I intend to write a longer post putting together some of my thoughts about science (and specifically academic scientific knowledge production) and its relationship to the public soon, but for now I want to highlight an opportunity to contribute to giving the federal government feedback about science funding in Canada. These opportunities don't come along that often, and personally, I'm really excited by the opportunity to participate, and strongly encourage you to do so as well, especially if you think about, appreciate, or reflect on the role of science in Canada.

Evidence for Democracy, an organization that sprung from the momentum gathered by scientists concerned about the regressive policies, funding cuts, and scientific program shut-downs of the Harper government in Canada. In July of 2012, thousands of scientists, citizens, and activists rallied across the country in a series of "Death of Evidence Rallies" to demand "transparent, evidence-based decision-making" (EforD, 2013). Since then, this organization has become one of the leading advocates for evidence-supported policy in Canada.

Wild strawberry patch on campus! What a yummy find! Small, but SO delicious!
They are helping put together a synthesis report of contributions from scientists and others across Canada, that will be presented to the federal government's panel for the review of fundamental science in Canada that's under way right now. On June 13th, 2016, Canada's Minister of Science, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, announced on that the review was underway. Much of the review focuses on how fundamental science is currently funded.

Please take 10 minutes to participate in the review!

You can do so by either by contributing comments to Evidence for Democracy:
I couldn't find their deadline to submit comments on their website, but I encourage you to do it right away, before you a) get to busy, b) forget, or c) miss their deadline. (In my mind, I had a deadline of July 31st, which seems appropriate if they are going to compile a synthesis report.)

Or, contribute directly to the government's open invitation here:
Their deadline to contribute comments is September 30th, 2016.

Or, if you're feeling really motivated, do both!

Summer hydrangeas after a rain. :) 
And, after you participate, share this opportunity with others!! The more participation the better. To me, this is one of many ways of participating and contributing to a healthy democracy that goes far above and beyond voting once every four years in a federal election. :)

If you want a kick-starter for your reflections about science in Canada, I suggest going back to the article I mentioned in my previous post here: "The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists." I think there are several relevant points they bring up, and they may lead you to think of others.

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