iPolitics Article Arguing for Scientists in Cabinet

I’ve got an article up today on iPolitics about why I think we need cabinet members with scientific backgrounds in the science-based portfolios. To be crystal clear, I don’t think that cabinet members in science-based portfolios who don’t have science backgrounds are automatically ineffective or ill-informed — there have been lots of effective ministers and critics without science backgrounds. However, I think having scientific expertise in Cabinet brings an important and often underrepresented perspective to…

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Lowlights from The Throne Speech

Here, (not-so-)briefly, are some bits of yesterday’s Throne Speech. The full speech can be found here. Sarcasm abounds — I am, predictably, not overly thrilled with this speech. Whole lot of contemplation of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, which is in another four years, ie, after another election. Why on earth is that the framing focus of this whole thing? There’ll be at least one new Parliament before then and probably a few more throne…

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The Personal and The Professional

I’m (as usual) very late to the party on the whole Scientific American masterclass on how not to deal with sexual harassment, but here’s the gist of the (first) situation: Dr. Danielle Lee has been blogging at Scientific American for 2 years. Her research is in ecology and evolutionary biology, and she does a lot of excellent outreach work to the general public and especially underserved groups; she’s highly regarded for both of these. She…

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Initial Thoughts on Yesterday’s Cabinet Shuffle

We here in Canada had quite a major cabinet shuffle yesterday, precipitated in part due to the departure of a few major cabinet ministers. So, the five positions with the most sciency-ness are now held by: Minister of State for Science and Technology: Greg Rickford (Kenora) replaces Gary Goodyear (Cambridge) Minister of the Environment: Leona Aglukkaq (Nunavut) replaces Peter Kent (Thornhill) Minister of Fisheries and Oceans: Gail Shea (Egmont) replaces Keith Ashfield (Fredericton) Minister of…

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Hello Again, Internet!

In light of my continued and increasingly public involvement with Science Borealis (a Canadian science blogging network that a group of us are putting together), I think the time has come to put my actual name on this blog, rather than awkwardly skirting around the pseudonym issue. I was hoping to have a rebuilt site ready to go by now, but science has had other ideas and kept me busy lately. So, without further ado…..…

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The NRC’s Restructuring is Another Data Point in Canada’s Scientific Regression

Last week, Minister of Science Gary Goodyear unveiled the new and restructured National Research Council. Rather than working on both basic and industrial science, the NRC is now focusing solely on the industrial side of science. While some parties have welcomed the restucturing, the usual chorus of critics (including yours truly) has piped up in protest. The move isn’t seismic — the NRC has traditionally been a supporter of industrial and applied science, though it…

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Today in Weird Invertebrates: Lawn Crayfish

Since I live in the Great White North, which is not generally known for its peculiar fauna, I had never heard of burrowing crayfish. I owe my newfound knowledge to Ursula of Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap, who also hadn’t heard of such a thing until she found one hanging out in her lawn. (link goes to the episode of their hilarious, if occasionally surreal, podcast where she scolds the state of North Carolina for…

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