Scientists and their research programs are increasingly underfunded, and their findings kept from reaching the public. The Conservative government’s policies have undermined public access to knowledge, weakened evidence-based policy decisions, and increased corporate influence on our campuses and in our research. The GSAÉD is working alongside the Canadian Federation of Students on the Liberate Science campaign to highlight how these changes affect students and the health of our systems of higher learning. We aim to raise awareness about publicly accessible research among graduate students, whose work can be some of the most directly affected. To get involved in the campaign, contact Lindsey Thomson, External Affairs Commissioner. We are also working closely with Evidence for Democracy.
Our goal is to:
- Defend against the commercialization of campus and university research. Public post-secondary institutions are responsible for delivering both high-quality education and research in the public interest. This responsibility requires the right for academic researchers to exercise independent inquiry that is free of influence or restrictions from both the government and private industry.
- Remove targeted research funding earmarks within the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and award research funding based on academic merit determined through a peer review process.
- Support public access to public knowledge by demanding that all government science and research findings be publicly available, that all government scientists and researchers be free to disseminate their findings without undue government restrictions, that Libraries and Archives Canada be adequately resourced and remain entirely public, that Statistics Canada reinstate the long-form census and increase funding to its education branch for the collection and analysis of statistics to properly track the impact of student debt on post-secondary education completion rates and the fulfillment of labour-market demands, and by opposing the defunding of politically inconvenient science research and the stacking of granting council governing boards.
- Oppose elimination of funding for research deemed to be “political” and the organizing of funding council administration bodies.