Prime Minister Mini-Me Cans Science Advisor

Arthur Carty led the National Research Council for 10 years, taught at the University of Waterloo for 27 years, has seven honorary degrees, five patents and more than 300 research publications to his name; he was Canada's National Science Advisor. But Prime Minister Stephen Mini-me Harper, like his buddy to the south, sometimes finds science inconvenient, so he moved him way down the hall and then cancelled the position. MP Scott Brison says "Dr. Carty was a voice of reason on climate change, stem cell research, resource management and the environment, Does the Prime Minister not realize that his attack on science is making Canada look like the Flat Earth Society?" ::The Star

Science is inconvenient when it gets in the way of digging up the oil sands at the cost of Kyoto, or running nuclear reactors without required backup pumps (so he fired the nuclear regulator.)

Adam Bly, editor of SEED, broke the story. He writes:

" Around the world, a critical challenge is for our understanding of science to keep up with our interest in science. This new global science culture demands a new level of science literacy, not only for general populations but indeed for the leaders that govern them. Canada needs a science adviser to guide our Prime Minister through this fast-changing landscape. The consequence of diminishing this position is apparent from my vantage point in the United States where the Bush Administration has repeatedly ignored science and scientists. It began by moving the Office of Science and Technology Policy out of the White House, escalated to abolishing the Office of Technology Assessment in Congress, and resulted in immeasurable damage to the Bush presidency and indeed the country.

Canada should not make the same mistake.... After an all-too-long period where science and scientists had been relegated to the outer circle of influence, we are on the cusp of a new era of science-savvy. One in which Canada should and can lead." ::SEED

Tags: Canada