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‘We can’t afford to see you join us in irresponsible lunacy’


 

A scientific objection to Gary Goodyear’s appointment as Minister of State for Science and Technology. (via Gardner)


 
Filed under:

‘We can’t afford to see you join us in irresponsible lunacy’

  1. I have stopped being embarassed about the Harper Conservative government’s attitude towards and lack of support of homegrown science and technology, and have moved on to feeling utter shame…

  2. I will not defend the optics of this because they are indefensible, and will still likely override anything I offer below. That said…

    As to the politics of this: I (like to) believe that most quacks recognize they are quacks. At least they understand very well the power of the placebo effect. Such quacks have no place in the halls of science, but in the halls of politics, they may be particularly well suited.

    Yeah, I know, you’re right. The first paragraph beats out the second, hands down.

  3. myl: I suspect you wouldn’t be so circumspect if the Liberal party had appointed a shameless hack into a position for which s/he was grossly unqualified.

    Heck, you might even argue that said party was putting politics above policy in a shameless display of power-mongering to the detriment of Canada’s economy.

    “Placebo effect”. Honestly.

  4. TJ, did you read my 1st & 3rd paragraph? Please go back and read every word between the separating horizontal lines, and try again.

    Mock my con-botedness only when I am actually standing up for them, please.

  5. Since MYL has abdicated in his job as defender-in-chief of the Harper government, I will grasp at the baton, if only to give myself a challenge.

    First of all, what’s worse, from a pro-science, pro-technology point of view: having someone in charge of a “Science and Technology” Cabinet position who has a degree from the University of Waterloo for biomechanics (not a quack subject, surely) and psychology (kind of quackish, admittedly), or not having a cabinet post for science and technology at all? I’m pretty sure (but will stand corrected, if wrong) that the Martin government had no Cabinet minister level position for “science and technology”, and that Chretien abolished the position in the mid 1990s (when it then included Industry), after appointing a lawyer, John Manley, to the position. For the record, it seems as though the former Ministers of Industry, Science and Technology in the 90s included two lawyers, a teacher and an investment banker. Imagine, not a nobel prize winning chemist among them! So I’m not sure what shining example of scientific enlightenment Myers is referring to, in that regard.

    Weak defence? You bet! But still better than MYL’s effort.

  6. Look what you’ve done, Olaf, now my feelings are hurt.
    Sniff.

  7. I don’t care about Goodyear’s credential. It’s just that he’s kind of dumb. Then again, who else do the Conservatives have? Jim Prentice can’t do everything.

  8. MYL,

    Good, you’ve failed horribly. Consider your Conbot credentials revoked.

    Ti-guy,

    Exactly. Myers asked if we “have any people up there who actually do Science and Technology?”. No, no we don’t.

  9. Olaf, those credentials are freely re-instatable by any number of commenters here, so I am not all that worried. All I have to do is timidly try to elicit some respect for the long suffering honest law-abiding productive taxpayer and — pow! — some lefty sneaks up on me and slams those medals right back on my chest. I just wish they’d be more careful with the pin…

  10. Sadly, I agree with this blog. I was extremely disappointed and frankly, worried, when I heard about the appointment. Canada is in desperate need of a knowledgeable voice to guide science policy. We are very rapidly falling behind other countries because of a lack of understanding of the contribution of research to the economy, health care, technology, etc.

    As Paul Wells talked about recently, the knowledge economy is where it is at; and the core of that is providing a strong vision for research and education in Canada.

  11. there was no science and technology minister previously because there was a science and technology advisor that was appointed on merit. This was cut in Harper’s last mandate and this minister is just to pay lip service.

  12. You have to remember that the entire Region of Waterloo (which is a technology hotbed, the home of the Blackberry) went Tory blue in the last election (including Kitchener-Waterloo by 17 votes and Kitchener-Conestoga by only a few hundred, unseating two Liberals in Telegdi and Redman). As a result, a cabinet position for someone from the area was probably considered – Braid and Woodworth are new, Chong is still in the penalty box, and between Albrecht and Goodyear, the latter has more seniority in the caucus and connections to the University of Waterloo.

  13. myl: just calling out an “argument” that’s lame even by conbot standards, even if you declare you’re not standing behind it.

    Honestly, if its too weak for you to support, you’re just embarrassing yourself with amateur spin.

  14. On a slightly-related note, there have only ever been 4 MP’s who listed their previous occupation as “scientist”. So finding someone with with “real credentials” or whatever seems unlikely in any government.

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