Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Science Shoved Out


Ah, Canada and Science. I remember in the 50's and 60's Canada led science through gov't efforts. There was the National Research Council, the GSC, and a host of others. We all wanted to be Civil Servant Scientists (CSS's)! My hiring in 1979 was the last hurrah of this genre.

Then what happened? Everything became political. Massive cutbacks. The famous CSS's became embattled union members. All of these groups started to get their gov't toadies. The NRC was destroyed, etc.

Universities were still a hope, but then things happened to them. With the cutbacks, every professor had to become a consultant, some in charge of large staffs. They became 'careful'. Now, the whole broken system is being cut back even more, but it hasn't produced for a long time. However, there are always a few bright spots.

Australia had the same system, and where are they? And we can point out the true cost of not having an independent 'Voice of Science', in that truly silly ideas are being pushed out all the time, costing billions.

Can anything be done? Not right now. I think Canadians have to be convinced that 'Political Design' is not working right now, and that the 'powers that be' don't have a clue what is going on. This process of discovery can be helped along with more transparency. But, before that, we will have many more disasters, such as the Niagara Tunnel, and the Bruce waste disposal.

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