The Canadian government’s media policies fail to protect taxpayer-funded scientists’ free speech, shield science communication from political interference, or support “open and timely communication between scientists and journalists,” according to a survey of 16 federal departments by Evidence for Democracy.
“Our findings are concerning because current media policies could prevent taxpayer-funded scientists from sharing their expertise with the public on important issues, from drug safety to climate change,” said E4D Executive Director Katie Gibbs.
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In the survey, more than 85% of departments’ media policies received grades of C or lower, and all but one scored below the U.S. average for 2013. The Canadian Space Agency, Public Works and Government Services, Industry Canada, and Natural Resources Canada were tied for last place with failing grades.