E4D has just released its first-ever research report! We have graded 16 federal departments on their communications policies, and found that, overwhelmingly, they fail to support open communication between scientists and the public.
Major results of the report, Can Scientists Speak? Grading communication policies for federal government scientists, include:
- Government media policies do not support open and timely communication between scientists and journalists.
- Policies do not protect scientists’ right to free speech.
- Policies do not protect against political interference in science communication.
- Over 85% of departments assessed received a grade of C or lower.
- All but one department scored lower than the United States average in 2013.
- The Department of National Defence took the first place spot for open communication.
- The Canadian Space Agency, Public Works and Government Services, Industry Canada and Natural Resources Canada were tied for last place with failing grades.
Current policies could prevent taxpayer funded scientists from sharing their expertise with the public on important issues ranging from drug safety to climate change. A healthy democracy requires that scientific information is made available for informed public debate so that we can hold our governments accountable.
The report provides detailed report cards on each agency, breaking down scores into five key areas. Based on these findings, the report issues recommendations for each individual department, as well as overall solutions for improving science communication policies.
We need your help to amplify the impact of this report:
- Please share the report with your networks by email and social media.
- Add your voice to our open science communication petition.
- Consider making a small donation to help us publish more work like this.
Thank you for continuing to stand up for science in Canada!