Canadian govt turns the national science agenda over to incumbent big businesses

Jonathan sez,

Apparently the Conservative government has decided that government research labs should be concentrating on science in the public interest ... oops, I mean, science in *industry's* interest. A major overhaul of national science policy requires these labs to begin "Conducting collaborative R&D projects with private industry, sharing the costs and the risks."

Notice, that's research in the service of *existing* industries. So government labs can help the current rich get richer, but may not create whole new industries. An applied mathematician might describe this as: you are allowed to climb toward the top of the hill you are on now, but not allowed to jump to other hills which may reach much higher. ...And your applied mathematician consultant would tell you that this is not a way likely to find a global maximum, merely a local one. Maybe the Conservative government should listen to some scientists before ruining science policy.

Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a series of Conservative government attacks on science in Canada, which has included muzzling scientists and shutting down the Experimental Lakes Area -- "Canada's LHC," the world's leading site for critical research on freshwater systems.

Research council’s makeover leaves Canadian industry setting the agenda (Thanks, Jonathan!)