I’m pleased to say that I’ve received my first comment from another public servant. The names have been changed for anonymity. Thank you “Larry” for your contribution.
Comment: Hi there. Great work. Not all scientists can write in a style accessible to the general public. Jeff Hutchings has put out some good editorials on this topic, one recently in the Toronto Star. This muzzling of scientists business is bad news. It takes forever to get research published as it is…you have to compete for funding, apply for permits, do the study (often with several field seasons), analyze data, write it up, submit to a journal, wait for the review, do the revisions, resubmit, and so on. And now add another very uncertain timeline of an internal government “review”? Without needing to exaggerate, this added step will add many more months if not years – with the risk that approval may be denied at the end. Who in their right mind will want to collaborate with a DFO researcher now? I suppose that’s the point…
Another form of government muzzling that is taking place is the mass demotions of regulatory staff across the country. Basically making it so very few people will be at a level of authority to speak at public forums or make regulatory decisions, particularly on big development proposals like mines or pipelines.
Anyway, I was sent your blog from a buddy in academia. Everyone involved with science is disturbed by the state of things – as they should be.
Keep on fighting the good fight.