Friday, February 06, 2009

Nature tells the world scientific community about Canada's lack of support for science

 
The latest issue of Nature reports on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's plan to slash the budgets of the major granting agencies [Cash concerns for Canadian scientists].
Billions of dollars in science infrastructure investments have been overshadowed by cuts to major grant-funding programmes in Canada's federal budget....

Although the budget does contain Can$87.5 million for graduate-student scholarships, the research community is perplexed by the government's decision to cut funding to Canada's three federal granting councils. Over three years, the budgets of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council will be reduced by almost Can$148 million. "It's an unfortunate consequence of getting poor advice or not listening to good advice," says Aled Edwards, a structural biologist at the University of Toronto, Ontario, and director and chief executive of the international Structural Genomics Consortium. He argues that the most efficient way to invest in research is through the funding councils, where peer review determines where the dollars are spent....

But the long-term effect of cutting funds for research may be that Canadian scientists will take their research south of the border, says Edwards. Canada's research funding pales in comparison with that in the United States, and the latest budget threatens to widen the gap between the two countries, he adds. "We're at serious risk of a brain drain."


3 comments :

  1. Not to worry. The US Senate "moderates" are proposing to cut out the proposed NSF funding from the stimulus package.

    See, e. g., Cosmic Variance

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  2. This is what happens when you put a chiropractor in charge of science.

    Why don't the just do what they really want to, and put a christian "science" practitioner in place?

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  3. "It's an unfortunate consequence of getting poor advice or not listening to good advice," says Aled Edwards, a structural biologist at the University of Toronto, Ontario, and director and chief executive of the international Structural Genomics Consortium.

    Well, if there is any consolation for Canadians, it is that they won't throw money into a con game called Structural Genomics anymore :-)

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