Here are shocking quotes about a Canadian survey of federal scientists — “Most Federal Scientists Feel They Can’t Speak Out, Even If Public Health and Safety at Risk, Says New Survey.”
The survey was carried out by a group called PIPSC, which states:
“A major survey of federal government scientists commissioned by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) has found that 90% feel they are not allowed to speak freely to the media about the work they do and that, faced with a departmental decision that could harm public health, safety or the environment, nearly as many (86%) would face censure or retaliation for doing so [for speaking out].”
“The survey, the findings of which are included in a new report titled The Big Chill, is the first extensive effort to gauge the scale and impact of ‘muzzling’ and political interference among federal scientists since the Harper government introduced communications policies requiring them to seek approval before being interviewed by journalists.”
“In particular, the survey also found that nearly one-quarter (24%) of respondents [federal scientists] had been directly asked to exclude or alter information for non-scientific reasons and that over one-third (37%) had been prevented in the past five years from responding to questions from the public and media.”
“According to the survey, nearly half (48%) are aware of actual cases in which their department or agency suppressed [scientific] information, leading to incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading impressions by the public, industry and/or other government officials.”
What sorts of issues are off-limits for Canadian federal scientists? It’s not hard to figure that out: pesticide toxicity; pollution dangers; dangerous medical drugs. You know, areas where the profits of big industry would be threatened.