The high cost of silencing scientists

From Index on Censorship

What are government scientists allowed to say? In Canada, many are feeling “gagged” when it comes to discussing their findings – hampered by funding cuts and the increasing need for all public enquires to be media managed. They have felt delayed or prevented from talking directly to journalists. Meanwhile, in the US, last October’s government shutdown, coupled with funding cuts, has seriously impacted upon US Federal Government scientists’ right to free speech.

Science writer and former physicist Mark Frary writes that, according to the Canadian pressure group Democracy Watch:
‘There are few issues more fundamental to democracy than the ability of the public to access scientific information produced by government scientists – information that their tax dollars have paid for. We as a society cannot make informed choices about critical issues if we are not fully informed about the facts.’

Full accounts of these current censorship issues in science appear in two papers within Index on Censorship



Read these articles for free –

Stories of the Shutdown
In Focus:
Gretchen Goldman
Index on Censorship March 2014 43: 101-105, doi:10.1177/0306422014521342

The day the earth moved
In Focus:
Mark Frary
The day the earth moved
Index on Censorship March 2014 43: 112-118, doi:10.1177/0306422014521360

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