Hundreds of federal scientists responding to a survey said they had been asked to exclude or alter information for non-scientific reasons and thousands said they had been prevented from speaking to the media.
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), which commissioned the survey from Environics Research “to gauge the scale and impact of ‘muzzling’ and political interference among federal scientists,” released the results Monday at a news conference.
The union sent invitations to 15,398 federal scientists in June, asking them to participate in the survey. More than 4,000 took part.
PIPSC represents 60,000 public servants across the country, including 20,000 scientists, in federal departments and agencies, including scientists involved in food and consumer product safety and environmental monitoring.
In recent years, there have been numerous complaints from scientists and the media about federal scientists being restricted from publicly talking about their research. Some complaints are being investigated by Canada’s information and privacy commissioner.
- Government scientists feel muzzled: survey (metronews.ca)
- Stop muzzling scientists, protesters tell Tories (thestar.com)
- Are scientists being muzzled? A look at the record (macleans.ca)