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Researchers push to make science an election issue during Science Literacy Week

(Ottawa - September 21)
Researchers across the country are mobilizing during Science Literacy Week (September 21-27) to highlight the importance of science and evidence-based decision-making during the federal election campaign.

Scientists from St. John’s to Vancouver are organizing ‘Vote Science 101’ events, bringing local candidates on campus to talk about their views on science issues and promoting Evidence for Democracy’s Science Pledge -  that has already been signed by over 2400 Canadians.

These events bring together government and academic researchers alike, equipping them with the necessary tools to make science an election issue in their communities.

“This is the first time in Canadian federal election history that we’re seeing the science community mobilized in this way”, said Dr. Katie Gibbs, Executive Director of Evidence for Democracy. “This election presents an unprecedented opportunity to turn the page on years of abuse and neglect of science and evidence.  Hopefully it will be a turning point for Canada to once again be a international leader for science and research.”

These events follow many years of widespread alarm from the scientific community over increasingly restrictive communication policies for government scientists, cuts to crucial government research and monitoring programs, and reduced funding for basic scientific research. Concerns about these issues have been raised in almost every major Canadian news outlet in recent weeks, with high-profile Canadians such as Margaret Atwood pledging support.

“Science underpins all the issues that are discussed during election campaigns, like security and the economy, yet we rarely deal with science and research directly”, said Arne Mooers, professor of Biodiversity at Simon Fraser University. “Science and evidence-based decision-making affects all of us - it’s something that we should all be considering when we go to vote on October 19.”

You can find a full list of events here: https://evidencefordemocracy.ca/en/content/election-events

 

Media contact:

Marija Curran, Communications Coordinator, Evidence for Democracy

Phone: 613-277-0186 or email: marija@evidencefordemocracy.ca

 

Evidence for Democracy (E4D) is a non-partisan organization promoting the transparent use of evidence in government decision-making.

Learn more on our website www.evidencefordemocracy.ca or follow us on Twitter @E4Dca

 

Katie Gibbs

Directrice générale

Katie Gibbs est une scientifique, organisatrice et défenseuse de la science et des politiques fondées sur des preuves scientifiques. Alors qu'elle complétait à l'Université d'Ottawa un doctorat portant sur les menaces visant les espèces en voie de disparition, elle a été une des principales organisatrices du rassemblement dénonçant la mort de la preuve scientifique (Death of Evidence) — l’un des plus grands rassemblements du genre dans l’histoire canadienne. Katie a co-fondé Savoir et Démocratie et y occupe maintenant le poste de directrice générale. Elle possède une expérience variée dans l’organisation et la gestion de campagnes sociales et politiques aux niveaux local et national. Katie est régulièrement invitée à commenter des enjeux de politiques publiques scientifiques. Elle a publié et a été citée dans de nombreux médias, y compris la CBC, The Hill Times, The Globe and Mail et le National Post.