“Can scientists speak?” was a question often asked from 2008-2015, when it was widely documented that federal scientists in Canada were being restricted from communicating with the media. The interference with the ability of scientists to conduct and communicate their work remains a more widespread issue, and one that is likely ongoing in Canada and abroad, especially for those conducting research in the environmental studies and sciences.
It is time for a pulse check on the status of interference in science in Canada.
Dr. Alana Westwood is principal investigator of the now SSHRC-funded project Interference in science: Documenting scientists’ perspectives of their ability to communicate and conduct environmental research in Canada. Collaborators include Dr. Philippe Mongeon (Dalhousie University) and Dr. Don Driscoll (Deakin University), with Evidence for Democracy being the external partner.
The grant application was supported by MES student Manjulika Robertson. She, alongside Honour’s thesis student Samantha Chu, will shed new light on the issue of interference in science and explore the issue from additional lenses of diversity and inclusion. Find out more about the project here and for updates, follow it on ResearchGate.