Is the Canadian Government Muzzling a Scientist Over a West Coast Salmon Collapse Study?
Photo: Wikipedia, CC
The Privy Council Office Doesn't Want This in the Media
Kristi Miller is the head of a $6-million salmon-genetics project at the federal Pacific Biological Station on Vancouver Island. In January, the prestigious journal Science published some of her findings to great acclaim. "The journal considered the work so significant it notified 'over 7,400' journalists worldwide about Miller's 'Suffering Salmon' study." The media started to line up for interviews via the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, but strangely, the Privy Council Office (which provides support and advice to the prime minister's office) refused the interview requests and also killed a press release by th department about the Salmon's problems.
Photo: Flickr, CC
This Problem Won't Go Away if We Pretend It Doesn't Exist
It appears that Ottawa doesn't want the problems of the West Coast salmon fisheries to be known by the general public (most people don't read Science). But this isn't the kind of problem that will just go away if we ignore it; in fact, some popular pressure on politicians would do a world of good.
The Privy Council Office also nixed a Fisheries Department news release about Miller's study, saying the release "was not very good, focused on salmon dying and not on the new science aspect," according to documents obtained by Postmedia News under the Access to Information Act.
Miller is still not allowed to speak publicly about her discovery, and the Privy Council Office and Fisheries Department defend the way she has been silenced. (source)
Photo: Flickr, CC
Science should be science, and politics should be politics. When science is inconvenient to politicians, that's just too bad. They should have the power to silence scientists, and I hope that this story will get more attention than if it had never been suppressed. This kind of outrageous behavior by petty bureaucrats who think they can control information should not be allowed to continue!
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