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This letter to the editor from E4D's Executive Director was published in the Hill Times today: Contrary to the scenario that Mel Cappe’s comments suggest in last weeks article on communication policies for government scientists (The Hill Times, Oct. 28, pg. 41), the documented cases of government scientists being prohibited from talking to the media are not cases of scientists trying to “go public” with information or “go out and embarrass the government” over policy decisions they did not like. In many of the most notable instances, the government scientists in question (e.g. Kristi Miller, Scott Dallimore, David Tarasick) were not permitted to do interviews to discuss their peer-reviewed research that had already been published in internationally renowned scientific journals.

A report released today by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) based on a survey of federal scientists indicates that many believe censoring and suppression of publicly-funded science is widespread. These results provide additional evidence for concerns about the muzzling of federal scientists, and highlight the need for new less restrictive communication policies.