I’ve been thinking a lot about this the last week or so, with media appearances already out there and more to come. The list of links I’ve amassed is quite impressive, a significant number to add to the post highlighting Sarah Boon’s advice. But that was a week or so ago, which seems like an eternity in Donald Trump years. So perhaps it’s time to take another look at the issues around science advocacy and politics in the Canadian context.
My advice? Don’t bring a test tube to a Bunsen burner fight. Mobilize, protest, form partnerships, wrote op-eds and blog posts and books and articles, speak about science at every public event you get a chance, run for office, help out someone who’s a science supporter run for office.
Don’t want your science to be seen as political or for your “objectivity” to be compromised? Too late, the other side made it political while you weren’t looking. And you’re the only one that thinks you’re objective. What difference will it make?
Don’t worry about changing the other side’s mind. Worry about mobilizing and energizing your side so they’ll turn out to protest and vote and send letters and all those other good things.
Worried that you will ruin your reputation and that when the good guys come back into power your “objectivity” will be forever compromised? Worry first about getting the good guys back in power. They will understand what you went through and why you had to mobilize. And they never thought your were “objective” to begin with.
Proof? The Canadian experience. After all, even the Guardian wants to talk about How science helped to swing the Canadian election? Two or four years from now, you want them to be writing articles about how science swung the US mid-term or presidential elections.
Oh yes, back up and store your data in a safe place. If you’re a government scientist or strongly connected to government funding, you might want to do you online advocacy on the anonymous side of things.
Most of the posts are post-election but there are a few from the Donald Trump president-elect period. The pre-election and pre-presidency posts are first in the list, followed by items from the last two weeks.
- How science helped to swing the Canadian election by Michael Halpern / The Guardian
- Looking back at science in Canada’s federal election by Alana Westwood / Evidence for Democracy
- Trump’s war on science is reminiscent of Harper, Canadian scientists say by Jayson Maclean / Can Tech Letter
- Take it from a Canadian: Science in America is headed for dark, dark days by Graham Templeton / Extreme Tech
- Canadian Scientists Warn U.S. Colleagues: Act Now to Protect Science under Trump by Dina Fine Maron / Scientific American
- The War on Science: Can the US Learn From Canada? by Sarah Boon
- Looking Back at Canada’s Political Fight Over Science by Sarah Zhang / The Atlantic
- Canadian Scientists Explain Exactly How Their Government Silenced Science by Joshua Rapp Learn / The Smithsonian
- The Climate Scientist Who Became a Politician by Ed Yong / The Atlantic
- Canadian scientists were followed, threatened and censored. They warn that Trump could do the same by Avi Selk / Washington Post
- The War on Science by Pascal Lapointe
- Canadian scientists offer support to muzzled US counterparts by Afisha Kassam / The Guardian
- US Scientists look to Canada for ways to fight crackdown / New Scientist
- Science and Solidarity by Debi Daviau / The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
- What the US Can Learn From Canada’s Battle With an Anti-Science Government by George Dvorsky / Gizmodo
- Here’s What Happened When Canada’s Government Muzzled Its Scientists by Jordan Darville
- ‘I hope that it doesn’t get as bad as it did in Canada’: Ex-public servant on Trump’s anti-science stance by Terri Coles
- Canada was first to try to muzzle scientists and fail by Andrew Mitrovka / Al Jazeera
- U.S. scientists call Canada for help with government clampdown by Bob McDonald / Quirks & Quarks
If I’ve missed anything important, please let me know in the comments or at dupuisj at gmail dot com.