Building on Momentum: Silence of the Labs Close Out

Until recently, the negative consequences of federal funding cuts to public-interest science were largely unknown to Canadians. This is cause for concern considering these cuts affect monitoring programs that serve important public functions including sustainable management of fisheries, protecting species-at-risk, and keeping our drinking water clean.

Today, thanks to the generous support and engagement from the E4D community, Canadians are more informed about these pressing issues. Individuals in various communities are now taking action to help restore the science that keeps Canadians and our environment safe and healthy.

We like to think that Silence of the Labs campaign contributed greatly to this raised awareness.

Last November, forward-thinking volunteers, organizations, and citizens came together to help Evidence for Democracy launch this campaign to raise public consciousness about the erosion of public science in Canada.

E4D volunteers organized numerous screenings of Silence of the Labs - a CBC documentary investigating recent changes to the federal research funding climate in Canada - and we were able to make a significant contribution towards putting these issues on the public record.  

Through the concerted efforts of dedicated volunteers, over 30 screenings across Canada have occurred. From Halifax to Port Alberni, E4D volunteers have helped to engage hundreds of Canadians in a national dialogue about cuts in funding that limit our research capacity and threaten our collective prosperity.

The screenings were held in a diversity of settings from university classrooms, to pubs, to private living rooms where collectively over 1000 attendees and 20 local organizations and public institutions came together to discuss how cutbacks to research programs are depriving Canadians of essential information - a conversation that was amplified through local and national media coverage (see CBC News, Kenora Daily Miner and News, and Vancouver Observer).

The Silence of the Labs campaign sparked a needed national dialogue that will allow Canadians to demand evidence-based policies and programs from their Federal Candidates this Fall.

With these issues now in the spotlight and with the election fast-approaching, Evidence for Democracy has retired this campaign and will be mobilizing its participants to take action through our 2015 Election Campaigns.

We are already off to a great start thanks to the support and engagement of the E4D community and the Silence of the Labs campaign!

Marija Curran

Communications and Development Coordinator

Marija Curran joined Evidence for Democracy as a Communications and Fundraising Coordinator in 2014. She comes to E4D from the Council of Canadian Academies where she worked as a Communications Coordinator to create and promote independent, evidence-based research for public policy development.