They have the cure to cancer. They know how to end global warming. They even know how to keep tuition low and get the Conservatives out of office.
That’s why the government has told the scientist “Shhh! Don’t say anything.” Seriously. The prime minister has silenced Dr. Who and all the other mad men and women in lab coats; they can publish their work, but they can’t talk to reporters about the secrets they’ve found.
In a survey called “The Big Chill” commissioned by the Professional Institute of the Public Service in Canada (PIPSC), accurate +/- 1.6%, 19/20, one that came out before the winter frost but sent shivers down spines, 90% of respondents—scientists who work for the government — said they don’t feel like they can freely talk to the media about their work, even though they have a burning desire. Only 29% of respondents said Natural Resources Canada uses the best of the best when it comes to climate change policies; only 21% said Environment Canada does.
Even though they can still publish their research, they’re not allowed to break the ice with the media and give them results. September 2013 was the very first science assessment focusing exclusively on mercury pollution in the Canadian Arctic led by Drs. Birgit Braune and John Chételat with scientific contributions from over 50 government and university researchers (published on Environment Canada). It was found that Arctic mercury levels have risen. But reports to the CBC were frozen (no one heard).
According to Maclean’s (May 2013), one guy even got in trouble. All he did was talk about sharks on the radio and the big guys said they’d stop feeding him money if he did it again without asking his boss (even though he wasn’t able to get in contact with his boss before the radio show).
Most people think the government is saying “Keep quiet— we’re scared of science.” But the real reason the lab coat mad men aren’t allowed to move their lips? They know the truth. They know we’re not alone. They know where the visitors are being kept (but don’t tell anyone).
First published in MacMedia, Volume 19, Issue 4