Further to a post I did last Tuesday about scientists in different federal government departments expressing concern about being muzzled by the Harper Conservatives and prevented from speaking out on important issues that they are collecting data and doing research on, a website has been created by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada to articulate those concerns at  http://www.publicscience.ca 

It’s not that the scientists object to going through proper communication channels to conduct media interviews or present their research at academic forums, more that in the last few years in particular the autocratic Harper government has shown a total disdain for the principle of intellectual freedom.

That’s something that science has thrived on since the Dark Ages. Failure to respect this tradition in areas tied to public health, food safety, the environment and whatnot, the Institute argues, will lead us inevitably back to a time when fear, blind faith and superstition trumped logic and free and open debate.