Tag Archives: Politicization of Science

The ‘third front in the Ukraine war’: Report from Germany

Developments of concern related to U.S./NATO war hysteria

The NATO boycott campaign against athletes, artists and media from Russia is followed in Germany by the first attacks on Russians, Russian books, publishers, science and Russian institutions. Given the precedent of Nazi Germany, this is truly dangerous.

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This day in 1919: Exposure of Washington’s academics as spies

Franz Boas (1858-1942)

Franz Boas (1858-1942)

By TONY SEED

Originally published on December 20, 2014

1919 (20 December): Under the heading “Scientists as Spies,” The Nation, a liberal journal based in New York, published on this date a letter by Franz Boas, the father of academic anthropology in the United States. Boas was one of the most prominent opponents of the then popular pseudo-science of eugenics and “scientific racism”, the fascist concept that race is a biological concept and that human behaviour is best understood through the typology of biological characteristics and not social and cultural factors.

Boas publicly charged that four American anthropologists, whom he did not name, had abused their professional research positions by conducting espionage in Central America for the U.S. armed forces during the First World War – precisely when U.S. imperialism had aggressively occupied Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti and was conspiring against the Mexican Revolution. Boas strongly condemned their actions, writing that they had “prostituted science by using it as a cover for their activities as spies.” Continue reading

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Oppose attempts to render the population passive in the face of pandemic

A lot of media coverage and official statements in the U.S., as well as from certain quarters in Canada, are focused on bad-mouthing China as a dictatorship which violates human rights. This is intended to divert from the fundamental point that China is defending every life – the most essential human right. The relentless campaign against China in relation to the outbreak of the virus goes so far as to say that 5G platforms and cell phone systems are used “to spy” on people. Continue reading

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Election issue: Canada’s war on science

End the Assault on Science! STEVE RUTCHINSKI

Science – natural and social – is what distinguishes a society on the high road of civilization from a society that is retrogressive, turning its back on truth and scientific pursuit, imposing instead irrationalism arising from prejudice. Today that would be neo-liberal prejudice or narrow self-interest of the rich at the expense of the rights of people by virtue of being human and interests of society itself. Continue reading

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Actions across Canada defend scientific integrity and collective bargaining

Gatineau

Workers in the federal public sector demonstrated across the country May 19 addressing the concerns of Canadians with the Harper government’s interference in public scientific research and refusal to engage in real negotiations for public sector collective agreements.

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Lessons from the bunker fuel spill in Vancouver’s harbour

King Stephen – “Canada For Sale” by Royal Prerogative | Tim O’Brien, The Muse

King Stephen – “Canada For Sale” by Royal Prerogative. Photo is from a June 25, 2011 rally of some 3,000 Newfoundlanders on the St. John’s waterfront against the decision of the Harper government to close the Marine Rescue Centre. | Tim O’Brien, The Muse

Sometime in the afternoon of April 8, bunker fuel started leaking from a ship anchored in English Bay in the outer harbour of the Port of Vancouver as it waited to load its cargo of grain at the docks. At 5:10 pm, a recreational boater noticed a large oil slick and called 911. The call was passed on to the Canadian Coast Guard, the designated lead agency for incidents like this. A Port Metro Vancouver boat appeared on the scene around 6:00 pm. Continue reading

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Harper government, Obama regime muzzling its scientists

By STEVE HORN, cross-posted from DeSmogBlog

In recent years, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has come under fire for disallowing scientists working for the Canadian government to speak directly to the press.

An article published in August by The New Republic said “Harper’s antagonism toward climate-change experts in his government may sound familiar to Americans,” pointing to similar deeds done by the George W. Bush Administration. That article also said that “Bush’s replacement,” President Barack Obama, “has reversed course” in this area. Continue reading

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MASKING THE PAST: The Franklin expedition and the Harper government’s assault on the past

In The Sea: Its Stirring Story of Adventure, Peril, & Heroism, Volume 3 (by Frederick Whymper and published by Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.), we see an illustration of “The Erebus and the Terror among Icebergs.”  The drawing (illustration 43) appears in Chapter 22, entitled “Franklin’s Last Voyage,” opposite page 206.

In The Sea: Its Stirring Story of Adventure, Peril, & Heroism, Volume 3 (by Frederick Whymper and published by Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.), we see an illustration of “The Erebus and the Terror among Icebergs.” The drawing (illustration 43) appears in Chapter 22, entitled “Franklin’s Last Voyage,” opposite page 206.

On Sept. 9, the day Harper announced that he was going to send “dozens” of elite special operations troops to Iraq, it camouflaged the announcement through media diversion. As Thomas Walkom reported in the Toronto Star, “Harper seized headlines by personally announcing the discovery of remains from the ill-fated 1845 Franklin expedition. In fact, the sunken wreckage had been discovered in the Arctic Sunday (two days before, that is, Sept. 7 –TS). Yet in a strange coincidence, news of the find was kept under wraps until the day of the Iraq hearings.” A “strange coincidence”? The manipulation and falsification of history for self-serving ends by this government is not unique. ADAM KOSTRICH

The so-called discovery of a ship from Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition made many headlines this month. The Harper government’s celebration of the ostensible find seems two-faced given the government’s present relationship with Canada’s archaeologists. Continue reading

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Harper gutting of federal libraries ’like a book burning’

The Harper government, with its anti-social, anti-national and neo-liberal agenda, is shutting down a “world class” collection on freshwater science and protection, ANDREW NIKIFORUK* reports in The Tyee. We also list other federal library closures (9) and consolidations (27). Continue reading

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Bourgeois science has lost its way at a cost to humanity

At a time when scientists and personnel in the fields of science and research are coming out with ever greater determination to stand against the politicization of science as part of the neo-liberal, anti national and anti social agenda of the Harper and Obama regimes, revelations are emerging that many basic cancer studies in the USA simply cannot be validated. In the life sciences, it seems that parallel forces, similar to those in theoretical physics and in mathematics, are at work, making it sterile and useless, and separating it from the needs of the people. And this is not at all accidental. Science, which at one time was useful to the rising European bourgeoisie, is now in a state of marasmus and disintegration. The scientific method has been buried and replaced with hocus-pocus. The imperialist system – unable to give the people anything but devastating wars – is holding back the development of the productive forces, and is a brake on progress, science and culture. “Billions of dollars in worldwide resources devoted to finding and developing remedies for the diseases that afflict us all is being thrown down a rathole,” concludes MICHAEL HILTZIK* in the LA Times.

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

IN TODAY’S WORLD, brimful as it is with opinion and falsehoods masquerading as facts, you’d think the one place you can depend on for verifiable facts is science.

You’d be wrong. Many billions of dollars’ worth of wrong.

A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen [2] set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. Continue reading

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The politics of muzzling government scientists

Four thousand Canadian scientists respond to survey. Hundreds confirmed they’d been asked to “exclude or alter technical information in government documents for non-scientific reasons.”

PressProgress (Oct. 22) – IT ISN’T EASY being a scientist for the federal government these days. That’s the clear message from new research released by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).

The union commissioned Environics “gauge the scale and impact of ‘muzzling’ and political interference among federal scientists.” Over 15,000 were invited to participate in the survey, and about 4,000 took up the offer. The results, released Monday, are startling. Continue reading

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U.S. ‘science’ group is a corporate shill

Secret finances of a pro-monopoly science group

The American Council on Science and Health defends fracking, BPA, and pesticides. Guess who their funders are. Guess who its executive director is. (Hint: he’s a convicted felon.)

By Andy Kroll and Jeremy Schulman*

 

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Mother Jones (Oct. 28) – THE American Council on Science and Health bills itself as an independent research and advocacy organization devoted to debunking “junk science.” It’s a controversial outfit—a “group of scientists…concerned that many important public policies related to health and the environment did not have a sound scientific basis,” it says—that often does battle with environmentalists and consumer safety advocates, wading into public health debates to defend fracking, to fight New York City’s attempt to ban big sugary sodas, and to dismiss concerns about the potential harms of the chemical bisphenol-A (better known at BPA) and the pesticide atrazine. The group insists that its conclusions are driven purely by science. It acknowledges that it receives some financial support from corporations and industry groups, but ACSH, which reportedly stopped disclosing its corporate donors two decades ago, maintains that these contributions don’t influence its work and agenda. Continue reading

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Edmonton scientists and allies oppose Harper attacks on science

 

Posters at Ottawa rally held on Sept. 16 to oppose the politicization of science by the Harper government

Posters at Ottawa rally held on Sept. 16 to oppose the politicization of science by the Harper government

TML Daily – EDMONTON scientists and their allies participated in a very lively public meeting on October 23 at the Alberta Art Gallery under the title “Get Science Right.” The meeting, attended by about 120 people, was organized by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) as part of a series of ongoing Canada-wide regional town halls aimed at providing an opportunity for the public and scientists to look at what is happening in science and research, and discuss what should be done to improve the situation in the interests of the people.[1] Continue reading

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Sighting. Just the facts, ma’am

Harper, my work is done

From Dougal MacDonald’s Facebook page: In a rare moment of unintended candour, federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver recently told the CBC that “[Canadian scientists and environmentalists] are entitled to their opinion, but they are not entitled to the facts.” Whatever Oliver meant to say, his words accurately reflected the efforts to make a state secret of any and all information that could be considered damaging to the interests of the global monopolies.

Hoyne Santa-Balazs commented: See if I have this right: the scientists are entitled to find facts and to form opinions about them, but not entitled to the facts. Said “facts” are destined to be proprietary (“title” implies legal constructs around property). Loose lips and the truth slips out.

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Harper’s anti-science offensive

Scientists rally on Parliament Hill, September 16, 2013.

By DOUGAL MACDONALD

TML Daily (Oct. 15) – IT IS noteworthy that on the Conservative Party of Canada’s Convention Website, the list of resolutions the Harperites will discuss October 31-November 2 in Calgary makes no specific mention of anything directly related to science and scientific research. This is surprising in view of the fact that the Harper dictatorship’s muzzling of science and of scientists’ right to speak about their work is a major issue at this time. On September 16, scientists, researchers, and their supporters held rallies in at least 17 cities across Canada, including in Alberta, to defend the important scientific work they do in the service of the public. The largest rally took place on Parliament Hill where over 1,000 people, including hundreds of scientists in white lab coats, demanded “evidence-based decision-making.” Continue reading

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Stand Up for Science – Backgrounder

120710-OttawaDeathofEvidence-PSACM-05We are concerned about the state of science in Canada. Our concern stems from three recent trends:

  1. Significant and ongoing cuts to many important public scientific institutions that provide the data critical to keeping Canadians informed about their health and welfare.
  2. Evidence that the increased investment in applied research and technological innovation has come at the expense of investment in basic research, the core from which innovation grows.
  3. The increasing constraints on the ability of government scientists to communicate their research to the public.

Basic research and the open communication of science to the public are crucial elements of evidence-based decision making. Continue reading

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The Canadian war on science: A chronological indictment

120710-OttawaDeathofEvidence-PSACM-12JOHN DUPUIS, reblogged from Confessions of a Science Librarian, concentrates on the Harper agenda regarding “natural sciences, environment and some public health topics rather than looking more broadly at how the Conservative government treats the humanities, social sciences, memory and heritage institutions and just generally any sort of evidence-based policy- or decision-making.” How $50 million in federal funding is being directed to such pseudo-science centres of big capital as the Perimeter Institute in Kitchener-Waterloo; the militarization of research, especially the role of Lockheed Martin; and the reactionary ostracism of science and scientists from Iran, Cuba and other countries merits definite attention. – TS

* * * 

THIS IS a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making. It is a government that is beholden to big business, particularly big oil, and that makes every attempt to shape public policy to that end. It is a government that fundamentally does not believe in science. It is a government that is more interested in keeping its corporate masters happy than in protecting the environment. Continue reading

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Events: Country-wide rallies Stand Up for Science

120710-OttawaDeathofEvidence-PSACM-12The Harper Government’s anti-social agenda has a political aim; depriving Canadians of scientific information by preventing scientists and others from giving their views in interviews, articles and other forms, which violates the right of the public to getting factual and scientific information in a timely manner, and marginalizes Canadians from participating in more fully debating and discussing issues that concern them. Today, thousands of scientists and citizens are again demanding the federal government prioritize science in the public interest.

Evidence for Democracy (September 16) – TODAY, thousands of scientists and concerned citizens participated in rallies across Canada, voicing their concern for the state of science in the public interest. Speakers highlighted that the health of public science impacts all of us and called on the federal government to make transparent, evidence-based decisions for the health and prosperity of all Canadians. Continue reading

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UN concealing report on Iraqi deaths and illnesses caused by U.S. radiation

Global Research (September 15) – THE World Health Organisation has categorically refused, in defiance of its own mandate, to share evidence uncovered in Iraq that US military use of depleted uranium and other weapons have not only killed many civilians, but continue to result in the birth of deformed babies.  Continue reading

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Scientists resist program to silence them

PHILIP FERNANDEZ* on the attempts to muzzle scientists and deny the right of the public to getting factual and scientific information in a timely manner. The Harper Government’s anti-social agenda has a political aim: to “marginalize Canadians from participating in more fully debating and discussing issues that concern them.”

Scientists rally on Parliament Hill, July 10, 2012, against Harper government’s attacks  on their research and natural environment.

Scientists rally on Parliament Hill, July 10, 2012, against Harper government’s attacks
on their research and natural environment.

THE Harper government is particularly intent on silencing scientists and researchers from speaking to the media “especially when the scientists’ research or point of view runs counter to current Government policies on matters such a environmental protection, oil sands development, and climate change.” So says a letter to the Information Commissioner of Canada sent by the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Victoria, together with Democracy Watch. Continue reading

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U.S. congressman demands that scientific papers be approved by politicians

120710-OttawaDeathofEvidence-PSACM-05THE politicizing of science and the negation of the scientific method are features of the neo-liberal, anti-social offensive in Canada, as is evident from the systematic attempts by the government to muzzle scientists and force them to toe the Harper agenda.

“Down South” – where the main goal of scholarship in the humanities as in all fields of academic research cannot be said to uncover truth or advance knowledge, but to do something completely different – a U.S. congressman, Lamar Smith of Texas, has made this offensive clearly visible. He has submitted a bill titled the “High Quality Research Act,” which would in effect add a politician into scientific studies. According to the Addicting Info website, the bill says that any research done using federal funds (which is the majority of research done in the United States) must have its results and finding approved by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives. Continue reading

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Fisheries & Oceans: Pseudoscience in the service of imperialis

Beware the facile use of climate change explanations

By DOUGAL MACDONALD*

A FEBRUARY 20 REPORT in the Vancouver Sun, reprinted by other monopoly media, states that well-known British Columbia marine scientist, Villy Christensen, told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held this year in Vancouver February 16-20, that there is a need to do “more research on predicting the impact of climate change on oceans to better manage fisheries and stocks.” The impression left by the article is highly misleading; Christensen is actually engaged in a major research project, the Nereus Project, which is investigating the effect of three factors on ocean fish stocks: climate change, human activity, and food web dynamics (fish eating fish). Continue reading

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Harper agenda: Top 10 incidents of politicization and political interference in science in Canada

THE suppression of scientists and scientific research by the Harper dictatorship, as of March 2009, from the website Politicization of Science in Canada. Continue reading

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Muzzling of scientists: Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper

THE FOLLOWING LETTER was jointly issued by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and several associations of scientists, science writers and journalists to coincide with the panel entitled “Unmuzzling Government Scientists: How to Re-Open the Discourse” at the American Association of Advancement of Science’s 2012 meeting in Vancouver, BC.

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Muzzling of Canadian scientists opposed at international conference

CHARLIE VITA reports on the suppression of scientific research

ON FEBRUARY 17, a panel was organized by Canadian scientists entitled “Unmuzzling Government Scientists: How to Re-Open the Discourse” at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting, held this year in Vancouver. The panel brought together science writers and scientists who are opposed to the Harper government’s ongoing attempts to prevent government scientists from speaking to the media. Continue reading

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