As the US gears up for its war on science, Canada offers lessons

Since the inauguration of U.S. President Trump, we at Evidence for Democracy have been inundated with questions. Americans have been asking us, "How can we fight the rising tide of anti-science sentiment?", while Canadians ask, "How can we help?"

There is no doubt that worrying changes are already afoot south of the 49th parallel. Media blackouts were reportedly installed at several federal agencies; grants were frozen at the Environmental Protection Agency; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cancelled a climate and health conference. The Trump administration has already shown a disregard for evidence, choosing “alternative facts” instead. The global scientific community has been responding swiftly, with a March for Science quickly planned in Washington, DC and other U.S. cities. Satellite marches are springing up across the globe: find out about the Ottawa march we are organizing here, and find the one closest to you here

What could this mean for science in America? Given Canada's recent experience with a war on science, Evidence for Democracy staff and board members have shared some lessons learned from our experiences. Read our takes below, and add your own advice for science-minded Americans in the comments!

Science, society, and politics - Should scientists get more politically involved? TVO's The Agenda.

When Canadian scientists were muzzled by their government. New York Times.

Sometimes, scientists must march. The Scientist.

United States: Learn from Canada's dark age of science. Nature.

 

Alana Westwood

Research Coordinator

Alana Westwood leads E4D's national research program, coordinating the Network of Experts, as well as designing and delivering training workshops. She completed her PhD in conservation biology at Dalhousie University in 2016, studying forest ecology and bird species at risk.