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I. Identifying the problems. Shifting funding from basic research Defunding politically inconvenient research Obscuring the defunding Stacking granting council governing boards Changing granting council priorities Diverting resources to “stars” Muzzling experts

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I identifying the problems
I. Identifying the problems

Shifting funding from basic research

Defunding politically inconvenient research

Obscuring the defunding

Stacking granting council governing boards

Changing granting council priorities

Diverting resources to “stars”

Muzzling experts

Directing public science for private profit

Promoting undue corporate influence in university research

Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL)

Experimental Lakes Area

Obscuring the defunding

Fettered funding within granting councils nserc
Fettered funding within Granting Councils - NSERC

Source: NSERC Departmental Performance Reports, Budget 2012-13

Less support for open research
Less support for open research

Source: NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC Departmental Performance Reports, Federal Budget 2012-13

Declining success rates
Declining success rates


NSERC Initiatives – examples

  • Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation “helping to organize ‘speed dating’ events to bring interested researchers and companies into brief and structured contact to discuss needs and capabilities.”

  • The Engage Grants (EG) Program is supporting “short-term research and development projects aimed at addressing a company-specific problem.”

Engage grant program
Engage Grant Program

Source: NSERC


Report on Plans and Priorities 2013-14

  • “Working with the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) to develop an effective Concierge Service for business that includes the expertise within the postsecondary research community:

  • “In 2013-14, NSERC will work with IRAP to assess and implement tools to link the expertise base within the NSERC systems with the new Concierge Service system being developed under the leadership of IRAP.”


Nserc spending priorities
NSERC Spending Priorities

In millions, 2013 dollars. Source: NSERC 2013-14 Report on Plans and Priorities

$10,733,333 was spent on 9 NSERC Canada Excellence Research Chairs in 2010-11

That would have supported 339 researchers with Discovery Grants and reversed the decline in success rates since 2006

$17,833,333 was spent on 13 NSERC CERC Chairs in 2011-12

That would have supported an additional 545 researchers with Discovery Grants that year

Muzzling experts Chairs in 2010-11

Muzzling government scientists
Muzzling Government Scientists Chairs in 2010-11

Dr. Kristi Miller,

Head, Molecular Genetics, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

2008 Federal Government Media Protocol:

 "Just as we have one department we should have one voice. Interviews sometimes present surprises to ministers and senior management. Media relations will work with staff on how best to deal with the call (an interview request from a journalist). This should include asking the programme expert to respond with approved lines."

Muzzling academic researchers
Muzzling Academic Researchers Chairs in 2010-11

Prof. Andreas Muenchow

Associate Professor

Graduate College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware

DFO Publication Review Committee Procedures:

“All journal articles…must be submitted to your Division Admin for review and approval prior to being submitted for publication. Publication review procedures apply to all submissions where a DFO Science staff member is an author (whether the single author, or one of multiple co-authors)."

Muzzling librarians archivists
Muzzling Librarians & Archivists Chairs in 2010-11

  • “On occasion, LAC employees may be asked by third parties to teach or to speak at or be a guest at conferences as a personal activity or part-time employment. Such activities have been identified as high risk to LAC and to the employee with regard to conflict of interest, conflict of duties and duty of loyalty.

  • “An employee may accept such invitations as personal activities if all of the following conditions are met:

    • The subject matter of the activity is not related to the mandate or activities of LAC;…

    • The third party is not a potential or current supplier to/collaborator with LAC;…

    • The employee has discussed it with his or her manager, who has documented confirmation that the activity does not conflict with the employee’s duties at LAC or present other risks to LAC.”

    • -LAC Code of Conduct

  • National Research Council to 'refocus' to serve Chairs in 2010-11business

  • CBC News

  • Posted: Mar 6, 2012 1:58 PM ET 

  • “Canada's national government research and

  • development agency is being transformed

  • and ‘refocused’ into a service that provides

  • Solutions for businesses, Canada's Minister of State for Science and Technology announced Tuesday.

  • “Gary Goodyear says he envisions the National Research Council becoming a ‘concierge’ service that offers a single phone number to connect businesses to all their research and development needs.”

Federal budget 2013
Federal Budget 2013 Chairs in 2010-11

  • $121-million over two years “to invest in the strategic focus of the National Research Council to help the growth of innovative businesses in Canada”

  • All of the new funding for the granting councils ($37-million) to support “research partnerships with industry through the granting councils, including $12 million to enhance the College and Community Innovation Program”

Ii what we need to do
II. What we need to do preserve academic integrity?

Educate the public about basic research

Building pressure to Increase core funding of the granting councils and for government science

Protect the integrity and independence of scholarly research

Make the granting councils arms-length

Fund research on the basis of scientific and scholarly importance, as determined through peer review not political preference

Stop the muzzling of scientists and other academic professionals – their duty is to the public, not to the minister of the day

Create a non-partisan Parliamentary Science Officer

Adopt a sound science policy for Canada

Enforce principled standards for university collaborations

Make graduate programs affordable & pay postdocs properly

Iii some steps we are taking
III. Some steps we are taking preserve academic integrity?

Dedicated web site

Interactive map cataloguing cancelled and “at risk” projects

Video testimonies and on-line submission forms

Email & petition tool

Local town halls and regional forums – for researchers to talk with the public about what’s happening and what it means

Research report on university/corporate collaborationswith tool box faculty and students can use to ensure transparency and integrity in any new proposed collaborations

Reports on granting councils’ priorities and practices

Database of researchers and scientists to facilitate advocacy

Concluding Comment from Others preserve academic integrity?

Nature editorial changes to canadian science raise questions that the government must answer
nature preserve academic integrity? editorialChanges to Canadian science raise questions that the government must answer

  • “Governments come and go, but scientific expertise and experience cannot be chopped and changed as the mood suits and still be expected to function. Nor can applied research thrive when basic research is struggling.”

  • Nature 487, 271–272 (19 July 2012)


Mike Lazarides preserve academic integrity?

Founder, Research in Motion

“What we need are those creative people to be left to do creative things just for the hell of it … this is the game changer that forms the raw material for industry to capitalize.”

- Speech at the Perimeter Institute, 2003