Re: “Science must not be muzzled,” editorial, Feb. 21.
Scientists working for Fisheries and Oceans Canada or any other government ministry are devoting their professional scientific work toward furthering the goals of their employer — in this case the DFO. Their research belongs to their employer, just as scientists working for private industry have their “intellectual property” owned by their employer.
There is nothing wrong with the employer ensuring that the publication of research does not harm the goals of the employer. Did the U.S. government allow nuclear physicists developing the atomic bomb during the Second World War to publish their research? Obviously, that would have created concerns regarding U.S. national interest.
Like them or not, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government are the current custodians of Canada’s national interest and they have every right to ensure that work done by the government’s employees doesn’t damage the national interest. If the scientists don’t like it, they shouldn’t work for the government. They can work for universities or, better yet, get their own funding and do completely independent research.
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