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As U.S. emerges from dark age, Canada's scientific edge fades

Globe and Mail Update

U.S. approval of human stem-cell trial heralds research renaissance, which worries Canadians: 'We could be left in the dust' ...Read the full article

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  1. Ryan Ginger from Canada writes: Unfortunately, Canada has a Prime Minister who keeps his Christian conservatism well hidden, even though his ideology bubbles to the surface once and a while. With an intelligent President now occupying the Oval Office, it's going to be a lot harder to keep his theo-conservative evangelicalism under wraps, hidden from most reasonable and rational Canadians.

    Okay, now it's time for an election...
  2. R L from Canada writes:
    It's time to unite the progressive vote, whether it be through electoral reform (proportional representation), coalition governments, party mergers, or other means. The fact is that the majority of Canadians are progressive-minded.

    .
  3. Mister Twister from Kingville, Canada writes: Naive God worshipping people, it's time to put religion aside and look inside yourself and to your neighbours for some real answers to life's problems. Fables, talking snakes and bushes, fake people, and made up stories that do not change with the changing times are no sources of wisdom. Hopefully in a few years big religion which is wasting away the good of this world will be the definer of naive rubes like the neo-religiozealots who run this world to some extent.

    Religion ...
    God ...
  4. weird world from Canada writes: hello Dr.Hergershimer...its been awhile since I saw you last on the Mooonscape...is that Jimmy Carter hanging Solar panels on the White House again ...better get that Ronald Regan kid to rip them down...can't have that advanced technology messing up the White house...its only the Seventies...what will people think.... right now( almost 40 yrs later) ..we could have the most advanced Alternate fuel source if Americans had the courage to follow Jimmy Carters lead....we can't afford to let Harper pull a Ronald Regan. Lead on Macduff...Lead on Canada ...
  5. Mike McFae from Canada writes: Unfortunately, once you mention stem cell research a small group of the ' public ' goes hysterical because they feel it leads to the end of the world as we know it. That's one strong reasin why we are going to fall behind the US quickly
  6. Bob Hopeful from Eddy, Canada writes: I have a friend who works as a scientist for Environment Canada and he and his colleagues have been very concerned for years about what they feel is undeniable physical evidence of climate change in the north and the continued efforts of the Harper government to suppress their findings. They are under a virtual 'gag' order in their dealings with the media. When attending world conferences with other scientists they are continually asked why Canada's policies are so backward, and feel great shame at the less than proactive attitude of our government.
    It was particularly embarrassing when John Baird was the Environment Minister. The man is simply a leashed bully and took great glee in is 'my way or the highway' attitude. Is this the hallmark of a progressive society?

    It would seem that the Government wants us to view scientific realities through a mindset that furthers their political and idealogical agenda, while denying reality.

    While it is true that the Liberal government did not have a plan in place to meet it's Kyoto agreements, they funded research. The first thing the Conservatives did was cut all the funding and suppress any scientific dissent- not a hallmark of a progressive society in my books.

    Lets hope that the return of 'science' in the US will somehow wake up the Canadian voters as to what has been going on here.
  7. David Bakody from Dartmouth, Canada writes: With Bush 44 alive and well in the soul of he who's name should not be mentioned (Harper), what freaking chance do we have of any progressive innovations ....... hello?
  8. Roop Misir from Toronto, Canada writes: Very extraordinary headline!

    Does U.S. emerging from the 'dark' age have anything to do with its politics? Or the belief of a person?
  9. Doug F. from Hanmer, Canada writes: 'As U.S. emerges from dark age, Canada's scientific edge fades.'

    And some of you in the media wonder why at least 40% of your potential audience simply tunes you out, no matter what the topic Whatever the merits of the story itself, this has to be the WORST HEADLINE EVER. Surely it is at least theoretically possible to present a meal for your audience without pre-digesting it for them as well.

    Far beyond tendentious ---- it's actually intellectually insulting. If you insist on being mere propagandists, at least make the effort to be 'good' propagandists.

    At one point I would have been shocked by the unrelieved bias revealed here. At one point. Better get a grip people before you lose what few subscribers you now possess. It's not as if time is on your side or anything.
  10. weird world from Canada writes: the headline is quite correct....the dark years resemble religion over scientific advancement.....sort of like Galelio advancing the Corpericus theory about the big yeeelow ball....and earth....and the church of 1600 century george bush saying it can't be so....and the Harper twit now in charge.
  11. F/A josquin from Canada writes:
    bad headline or not, we have a conservative regime, at it's very backward heart, trying it's best to stifle anything and everything.

    Thank the non-existent gods they only have a tenuous minority, and will only be there for awhile longer------leashed!
  12. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    ' In his inaugural speech, he promised to 'restore science to its rightful place,...'

    We'll see, but it might be too late! The REAL story is not comparing the US to Canada, but how North America has fallen far behind the China-India models of education and how they take the sciences and math so very seriously.

    As North America produces lawyers, business paper pushers....these countries produce MDs, doctors and scientists to fill the demand of R&D.

    As production has moved to these 2 countries over the last decade, quietly so has R&D.

    Fascinating Harvard Business article here: A must read.

    http://www.harvardir.org/index.php?page=article&id=1803

    ' American businesses are increasingly moving their research and development operations to India and China.'

    'China and India between them graduate twelve times the numbers of engineers the United States does. Business executives such as Microsoft chairman Bill Gates say that they have no choice but to move their research and development operations abroad because a deficient US education system has resulted in a severe shortfall of engineers.

    'lower cost and closer to emerging markets.'
    .
  13. Gardiner Westbound from Canada writes: .
    Obama has been in office for less then a week and already Canadian scientists fear Canada is falling behind. This is more about them lining up at the trough for free taxpayer money than science.
  14. prospector from blackfly country from Canada writes: Gardiner Westbound from Canada writes: .
    Obama has been in office for less then a week and already Canadian scientists fear Canada is falling behind. This is more about them lining up at the trough for free taxpayer money than science.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bingo!

    Now that's more realistic than all the previous drivel.
  15. Proud Canadian from Canada writes: I've said it before on here and just back from a great carribean holiday, watching CNN while I was there, tell ya, Obama is going to leave us in the dust. U wont see this country for fog. Harper could not lead a camel to the oasis let alone get him to drink. Its time we get rid of this guy and his Harris hacks, if we do not, we are doomed. He's not the guy nor is CRAP the party of the future.
  16. Elizabeth Dornbush from Sudbury, Canada writes: I agree that little good is going to come out of Harper Ottawa, and hope to se him replaced ASAP. Howeve, I have a husband with Parkinson's and the sooner some stem cell work is done in this area the better. Some scientist somewhere is going to be doing this work, despite Prospector's drivel about them only being on the take for free money, and I applaud the drive of scientists to get past the ridiculous political/religious posturings that have been going on in both countries and to make the advancements that can help us all.
  17. Some Thoughts from Canada writes: In biotech, what Canada lacks is the wherewithal to go from the bench discoveries and small (micro?) biotechs to larger commercial entities that can commercialize or partner products. The biotech sector in Canada is in dire straits right now, and what is tragic is that in addition to technology being sold at fire-sale prices to big pharma and big biotech, some products which will improve health will not be developed at all. A good example is the RNAi space (which a lot of medical scientists believe will have a much bigger impact than stem cells, especially in the shorter term), but in which Canada has limited commercial effort (exception would be Tekmira, there may be others). I am not sure what the solution is...Canada does good basic biomedical research in the universities, it would be good to see this technology supported and the 'D' part of the R&D sustained in Canada.
  18. Jah Nee Kah Sun from Canada writes: Keep funding Canadian science. Stop fawning all over Obama. That's pathetic.
  19. North Star from Canada writes: Harper is taking Canada backwards. Harper stacked government science files with yes-men to produce studies backing government policy. While Obama reversed Bush's decision on stem cell research and abortion in the US, Harper's members are talking about banning abortion in Canada.

    Harper cannot be trusted.
  20. Gabriel Allon from Canada writes:
    Separation of church and state is at the core of all this, as Steve heads in the opposite direction towards all policies being ideologically driven.
  21. Ruth Walker from Edmonton, Canada writes: According to our PM, the world is around 6000 years old.

    Science is a search for the truth about reality. That search has led us to an understanding that the world is a lot bigger, older, and more wonderful than any ancient mythology could conceive.

    The knowledge we obtain by scientific methods has changed our capabilities and given us technologies on which our society depends.

    I think Canada needs leadership that is capable of understanding these things. It seems from this article that the scientific community is trying to communicate with the PM in a dollars-and-cents language that Harper might understand. That is a good start, but there is a real limit to how far that approach can go.

    As for the assertion that the PM now 'gets' climate change, I disagree. The PM has yet to accept that human behavior is the cause of climate change.

    Just as a young-earther would be a very bad choice for director of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Natural History, a person who is absolutely incapable of understanding scientific methods and goals is a very poor choice for leader of a technologically advanced nation. Harper is simply wrong for the job.
  22. John Deriso from Calgary, Canada writes: The article is talking about government funded science. While I agree that the government of any nation should encourage scientific advances as much as they can, not funding science is a far cry from outlawing science. George W. Bush did not outlaw science. Stephen Harper has not shut down research labs and banned science.
  23. L T from New York, United States writes: Looks like Canada already lost that 'edge'. I'm no scientist but 2.5 billion is a bit more than 3 times 793,000.
  24. michael smith from Toronto, writes: Silly actually - that Canada profited from a US gone bad.
    So now they correct their ways - and we should panic.

    Just go about our business, and applaud the US for getting this part right - finally.

    Its not like Canada was turning the Science world upside down - we were just doing a bigger part without the US for a while.

    Now with the US - Canada will still have a great role to play in Science - feeding of the US coattails - something we know very well how to do.
  25. Hail to the Conservatives ! from London, Canada writes: I personally worship my lampshade, that is, when Santa is on vacation.
  26. P Jones from NB, Canada writes: Harper and those damn Christians ... they will be the end of us all. You 'tolerant' beer-commercial (I AM CANADIAN) Canadians are too much. Canada is in sad shape now due to decades of effort in making us (what some consider to be) 'progressive'. Move forward? Yes. But, don't forget where you came from or what brought you here. For all of you righteous Canadians who suddenly deem the US worthy of your attention again, even Obama states with regards to his country's forefathers' efforts that 'Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expediences sake.'
  27. forty sum from Canada writes: With Obama smart is cool, with Harper keeping his job and cutting throats is cool, Harper doesn't know the honesty or smart words.
  28. M M from Canada, Canada writes: A lot of things have been promised by science - especially the favoured child of stem cell research - yet the promise if far from being filled and might never be. In the meantime we have illnesses and medical conditions that can be solved but are not. As a remineder the Bush administration did not prevent stem cell research, but rather prevented PUBLIC funding of it. As a public policy I think that is appropriate. Public funding should be directed to achieve results - not to speculate on something that might be beneficial in the future. As for the moral argument, I suspect that in another 10 years there will be cries from those individuals on the left about how could govenment support all of this type of research without considering the 'human cost' (it will not be called moral because that implies religion which the left continues to not recognize the role that religion plays in many, many people's daily lives). The ethics of the research will be decried and the government of the day will be assailed by multiple lawsuits, commissions, inquries, public studies etc. etc. etc. When you have the responsibility to spend other people's money (which is want government does), you need to be prudent. Unfortuntely the cries by supports of activities such as stem cell research are demanding total control over the purse, with little accountability for either results or for the ethics of the research.
  29. Hugh Albert from Canada writes: Where there is a will there is a way. Which 'will' will show its way? Which 'will' will you show when its time to say? Hope or the same backward direction?
  30. Jeff Pritchard from Canada writes: With Harper and the conservatives in charges, even in a minority status, this is a valid fear - and it's a devastating one, when you consider that the majority of problems our society faces are going to demand scientific solutions.
  31. S Rankin from Chatham, Ontario, Canada writes: Harper believes that man walked with the dinosaurs. In the USA the Republican Party that is in such disrepute today is not the party of Reagan. It is the party of Rush Limbaugh, of Ann Coulter, of Newt Gingrich, of George W. Bush, of Karl Rove. It is not a conservative party, it is a party built on the blind and narrow pursuit of power. The conReformers in Canada are rumoured to be taking paid advise from Rove. Pretty well sums up the situation in Canada too.
  32. F E from ottawa, Canada writes: this is where I prefer someone like Ignatieff as leader, he wouldn't bow the christian right for concessions and do smart thing for Canada to allow us to stay on the edge. He knows the US well, having lived there. Layton on the other hand doesn't have that kind of 'smarts', he just seems to be against everything.
  33. Huey Freeman from Mississauga, Canada writes: Hey I AM a christian but agree 100% with stem cell research. The days hopefully of the crazy christian right fringe shoveling their doctrine down other peoples throats are gone.
  34. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    Canada lost the 'edge' by wasting the past 3 years by electing someone who thinks the world is 3000 years old... Someone who thinks early Albertans walked with dinosaurs.

    Great job people!

    We could have world-class stem-research facilities here in Canada - instead we got a 1% GST cut and the prorouging of parliament.
  35. Jeff Pritchard from Canada writes: I've got news for you, 'al from lake huron'.

    Your demise is certain anyway, and everything you stated was a lie. Educate yourself.
  36. bill williams from Guelph from Canada writes: -

    There is nothing to argue with in this article except that it does not go far enough. In addition to the 'I will decide the science' attitude of Stephen Harper, we have the economic downturn which has devastated university endowment funds and cut off other sources of funding. We need MASSIVE financial help for our universities. They are cutting back right now with no idea how they will be able to function with reduced numbers of people; they just know that they have no money. And university applications are way up.

    And it's not just science that suffers. Intellectual horsepower is what drives innovation and economic progress in our country. We need every sort of well educated person. all faculties of our universities should be gearing up to help the country progress and instead they are throttling back.

    It's true that in addition to lack of funding, science comes in for special scorn under Harper. The story above about Environment Canada is true. They have been told that they are not allowed to respond to media inquiries without running the question and draft answer through the PMO for approval. The media should be screaming about this but ...

    -
  37. Roop Misir from Toronto, Canada writes: Will keeping religion, speculation, imagination and fear of the unknown out of a scientific debate be more worthwhile and meaningful?
  38. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: al near lake huron . from Canada writes: stem cellscome from aborted fetuses. murdering babies, is not the path to saving people.
    kill a baby, save a life. Is this the new world slogan.

    Abortion is good, kill a baby, save an old fart.

    It all makes so much sense now, once you depart the good path, for the badpath, your demise is certain.

    ------------------------

    I would love to see a law pass that would prevent any psycho-evangelical (is that an oxymoron?) from obtaining any medical care from research brought about by the usage of stem-cells.

    But the reality is that, like on every single issue, evangelicals are completly hypocritical. They would be the first ones lining up to take advantage of the medical breakthroughs - in fact, they support for-profit health-care for that very reason - so they can jump ahead of the line. Evangelicals are the scum of the earth.
  39. Counterspinner tells the truth from Canada writes: So, the mid 1990's were also very bleak for scientists. During cretiens time in office. Did he ever get blame for that? What about cuts to transfer payments which led to hospitals closing and medical school cutbacks? But, harper has only been in office for 3 years and he is expected to correct all the liberal mistakes in that time. Grow up, children - harper needs another 10 years to turn things around from the liberal dark ages.
  40. Henry Wysmulek from Winnipeg, writes: So what does religion have to do with not wanting to see one group of people executed to save the useless and undeserving life of another group of people?

    Real enlightenment!

    Lets execute billy, john, betty and jenny to save bobby!

    Real enlightenment!
  41. Steven Ferguson from Canada writes: There is more than a little element of posturing and scare tactics in this article. The article states that in the past few years research funding has tripled. That sure sounds good to me. It also states that funding continues to increase at 6-8% a year. This is well above inflation and also sounds pretty good. I wish my funding had tripled and then continued to increase above the inflation rate. It also noted all the new facilities which have been constructed recently.

    There is truth that Canadian grants are given out in smaller chunks than NIH grants. That is not news though, since it has been that way for decades.

    There is also truth that the scientific community likes to feel valued, and they may not feel that way with the current government. Scientific advances are vital to the improvement of life not just in Canada but around the world. If a few minor changes, such as appointing a Chief Science Advisor, make a significant symbolic difference, maybe it should be considered.
  42. Jean Campbell from edmonton, Canada writes: Is there a Canadian charitable organization whose goal is to fund scientific research such as stem cell research? If there is, then Canadian's should rush to put their charitable dollars there.
  43. Scrappy T from Canada writes: I am sure there are commentators here that know what they are talking about and add to the discussion, but you have so many, and always the same ones, who use any topic on this site to spout anti Harper comments.
    Are you so fixated with Harper that you can't seem to get your head around any other ideas?
    We benefited due to another country cutting down on their R&D. That may change or it may not we haven't seen the results yet from Obama.
  44. David K from Guelph, Canada writes: The problem seems to be convincing our leaders that science is the way forward from an economic standpoint as well as from a purely scientific one. Canada and Canadian companies are not known for being cutting edge for R&D with the possible exception of RIM. The problem is to get government types to look beyond their current term in office. Obama seems to have this gift, Harper does not or at least has not shown it so far. Meanwhile, back in the ridings, the troglodytes are worried about scientists lining up at 'the trough' as if progress can be made without investing money. It is this attitude that constantly cripples progress, the idea that unless research can be turned into profit within a short time span it is a waste of money, kind of like expecting your favourite athlete to score each time they set foot on the playing surface. Some day intelligence will be sen as an asset in this country but for the moment the 'tall poppy' syndrome still applies even at the highest levels.
  45. True Conservative in the West from Canada writes: Bob ImamI from Canada,

    If only this article had more of a focus on climate change then you could have really let loose the ideological screed eh? Maybe next time, lol.
  46. Lyn Alg from Canada writes: If Canada fears being left in the dark re medical discoveries, we must rid ourselves of a Prime Minister who is an extreme, right-wing, religious 'Jesus-Freak' in the ilk of the former President of the U.S., G.W. Bush, Harper's former master. With Obama, the U.S. is starting to surge ahead and becoming a world leader once again. And where is Canada with Prime Minister Clueless? God have mercy on Canada. Where are you IGGY? Canadians are waiting for next week to arrive. I noticed last week that the moving van is already parked outside 24 Sussex. Good riddance!
  47. In a Fog from toronto, Canada writes: Let me see if I have this right. Harper is from Alberta, goes to church and is a conservative. That makes him a typical western Canadian religious thug who crushes free thought and is a functional Libertarian. Well, I glad that we got that cleared up. I hate to break it to the members of Liberal party but Trudeau's dead and Chretien's out because he got caught stealing everything but the cutlery. Not all Westerners are from the religious right and not all conservatives are deeply religious. I consider my self a conservative and am an atheist. I also know many Liberals who are regular church goers. You're the ones who sound lke fanatics.
  48. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: As with any science, if a community has an edge, it can maintain it but it has have wisdom. The fact that USA will be spending more money in this field of science should be encouraging fact because they will look into leaders and the pace will accelerate.

    The idea should be not to dump the Canadian research but to capitalize on them now that they are ahead. Making sure that the staff and institutions do not dissolve and their staff are not stolen just as physicians get poached worldwide while the cost of their education is a burden on others.

    That would mean signing of exclusive contracts with the employees and viable payment plans for sharing any research.
  49. Babbleon ! from Canada writes: Obama has been in office ,how long?
    Canada is and will continue to lead the world in medical technology.

    It is creeps like Alg and Jansen that are in the dark ages.
  50. toco- mak from moonbeam, Canada writes: Fickle, eccentric 'scientists'. They think their're the centre of the world. With government, yes science is important, but what is the most important is the social science part of managing a country. I have worked with several and for the most part they live in isolation with their work and thoughts in a world they are trying to perfect.
  51. al near lake huron . from Canada writes: Fetal cells, which are more adaptable than adult cells, provide the best hope of regenerating nerve cells for stroke patients who otherwise could not regain movement and mental skills, the company said.

    fetal cells = dead babies
  52. kitty kumari from Canada writes:

    I'm glad that these changes are happening. Everything is a science. We still have many doors to open.
  53. al near lake huron . from Canada writes: Medical companies, funded by financial opportunists, are using stem cells from aborted fetuses
  54. peter jones from Canada writes: I think that anyone who is a regular church, or mosque, or Synagogue or so on attender should be banned from office

    Let God keep his lobby groups in the churches etc..there is no place for those lobby groups in our corridors of power.
  55. al near lake huron . from Canada writes: babies aborted by economically desperate mothers willing to sell their bodies and babies for money and the 'tissue' used for nefarious reasons.

    .......... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-399376/A-barbaric-kind-beauty.html
  56. Gabriel Allon from Canada writes: Al are you sure you're near lake huron and not in it? Don't think your brain is getting the required oxygen.
  57. peter jones from Canada writes: I always find that the people who care about 'dead fetuses' could not give a hoot about children killed by American bombs..or Israylii guns...

    so I am glad to hear that they are going to demand a reduction in Canada's defense spending and a complete stop to NATO and Israyli air strikes on civilian targets
  58. Dr. Winston O'Boogie from Aberdeen, United Kingdom writes:
    Perhaps a public library could sponsor a CASCAR team and painted er up as a Bookmobile? Who knows, they could even choose a number for the car larger than 6000.
  59. w b from Canada writes: Hello,
    If all the hype of Obama comes true and if we as Canadians carry on the way we are (politically, education etc) we will fall way behind.

    I see us in the next 5 years or so changing places with the USA. Not completely but, the on world stage we are not the same. We have world diplomats walking out of meetings wondering who we are and what we are doing.

    We are not advancing forward.

    We have narrowed our views, allowed bias and become to lazy and tired to say enough is enough.
  60. Dan Zenderman from TO, Canada writes: Nazi death camp eugenicists would be proud of how far modern research has gone . Where do we draw the line ?
  61. kitty kumari from Canada writes: Al, I take it that you are against abortions, and that you are against stem cell research. Why don't you just say it?
  62. Steven Ferguson from Canada writes: al near lake huron, do you really think that your false and mindless rants do anything but dis-credit the point you seem to want to make?
  63. dennis shemeluck from parry sound, Canada writes: dave jerk from guelph,
    seems you guys in con country just do not get your act together... neantherdals....

    rim spends virtually nothin on research yet nortel did world class research and jerks like you from guelph and many who possibly lost on their stock like me do not recognize how they put canada on the map. the balsaillie blackberry came only couple years ago... nortel and predecessor companies doing world class research with minimal funding fromgovernment help for ions... help in way of technical tax grants where profitability is factor is not a help!!! its a cop out!!! as a c.a., i see too much of this.

    maybe its time to tell the jerks in ottawa aka stevie wunderkind that we in canada have smart people who need help also!!he would be lost in the fog if he was around any intelligence.

    it really is so sad.. we in canada area a bunch of losers when we try look at the big picture.
  64. L David from Canada writes: The Dark Ages were caused by invading Germanic barbarians destroying Roman civilization causing a state of barbarism and illiteracy

    The Church did not cause the dark ages they preserved literature provided a philosophical framework for modern science, and successfully re-established literacy bringing in the middle ages. The churches founded major universities of the world such as Oxford, Cambridge, Geneva, Harvard and Yale.

    The dark ages may have just begun with the institutionalized and dogmatic suppression of any other views than what the self appointed majority is willing to accept, along with the oppression and outcasting of those who have them. Critical thinking is no longer encouraged or permitted. Liberals are only liberal as log as you do not have a different opinion then there true oppressive colours come out.
  65. bob london from Canada writes: Canadians can't handle competition?

    Ryan Ginger, go find that eco-terrorist in BC.
  66. t scot from Canada writes: Conservative theocratic governance = the dark ages.
  67. Peter North from van, Canada writes: any brain drain due to the decision is worth not having a religious/superstitious nut sitting on top of the world's largest cache of weapons of mass destruction.
  68. Richard Palu from Canada writes:
    Harper's on borrowed time. Those winds of change are heading north. What is that - is it the 21st century? Look out! It's coming right at us.

    'bring on a brand new renaissance'
  69. Wayne Spitzer from Faywood, United States writes: M M form Canada - First, as a scientists I can assure you that the Bush administration's blocking federal funding of stem cell research in the U.S. is in effect exactly the same thing as blocking ALL stem cell research. To characterize it otherwise is either naive or dishonest. Second, you have it backwards - the role of the federal government in science (beyond training young scientists) should be to support basic research. There is money available in the private sector to fund applied research, but applied research stands on the shoulders of basic research. Adequate funding of basic research is the key to development and maintenece of a vibrant scientific community. For the sake of the U.S. I hope that Obama will move strongly in this direction, and I would certainly encourage Canada to do likewise.
  70. Doug F. from Hanmer, Canada writes: 'Where do we draw the line ? '

    How dare you ask such a disturbing question ? Did you not read the headline and all the enlightened commentary here from the sophisticated Canadian public ?

    There are NO LINES. Ever.

    They are 'inconvenient'. Not only are they intolerable in practice, it now appears that even their 'discussion' is out-of-bounds.

    I happen to believe that stem cell research shows great promise and should be pursued. But the contempt shown here for anything that might be considered as an 'ethical' concern is truly disturbing.

    The history of the World tends to show that once a path is chosen the travel very likely goes on to the very end of the line. But that matters not at all to the usual suspects. Largely because they really don't ever THINK about issues; they merely FEEL them. And secondarily because they are almost completely historically illiterate.
    Science is a tool not a goal. Too bad that has seemingly been forgotten. Just as the current economic collapse has demonstrated once again that there really is no such thing as a free lunch, so too will this worship of 'science' eventually demonstrate that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Especially when contrary THOUGHT is banned as something from the 'dark ages'.
  71. peter jones from Canada writes: L David,
    the Dark ages in the West maybe,,

    but it was the Eastern Roman Empire..the Byzantine Army that kept knowledge alive and thriving...and the Arabs/ Muslims translated Texts from Byzantine Libraries..
    so forget about your church..it was the Byzantine and Muslim armies that kept knowledge - above all in science and medicine - alive.
  72. kitty kumari from Canada writes: L David from Canada,

    Thank you. I was waiting for someone to mention something like that. Everyone seems to think that it's completely impossible to believe in religion and science at the same time.

    ~sigh~

    Like I said... so many doors we have yet to open.
  73. Censured Comments from Canada writes: Meh, we had a head start.
  74. P Martin from St. John's, Canada writes: Harper is destroying our country step by step. This is just another symptom of his general lacking of leadership and ability. And the sooner he is gone the better.
  75. Donald Wilson from Canada writes: Smart has always been cool . It's just that dinosaurers like Bush , Chaney and Harper don't like progress or smart . An earlier poster got it correct - most Canadians are Progressive , and have a real desire to make changes in our political structure . Now let's organize to do that . The old line parties in Canada have no incentive to do that .
  76. J B from Sudbury, Canada writes: Jesus says... 'woe to you who call evil, good and good, evil...'
    An embryo is a human life in the making. Kill that embryo and you kill what would most surely have been a human being. That is murder of the innocent and that is 'EVIL' not good at all. /jlb
  77. Mike Keith from Saskatoon, Canada writes: I'll try to avoid getting into too much conservative bashing and their naivety towards science today. Marc Garneaux, Canada's first man on the moon, now a Liberal MP represents a true scientist in politics. People like this are few and far between and if he's given a chance I'm sure Canada will not fall behind the United States again. Funding science is especially critical now as it retains and recruits highly educated workers with spin-off opportunities for other well compensated jobs, not to mention the benefits of scientific research for the general public.
  78. Kim Morton from Canada writes: How short sighted to continually comparing Canada to the US. What about the rest of the world? How does our research funding stack up there? With a small population base to finance projects we must be a little more picky about what we fund but what we do must be world class. The rest of us live in a global economy and I expect academics soon will as well and we we expect our research institutes to produce world class results, not just better than the declining empire next door.
  79. $ $ from Toronto, Canada writes: An embryo is a potential human life, not actual human life.
    There is no such thing as an innocent embryo.
    Termination of an embryo is not murder because it is not a human being.
  80. Lie Detector 2 from Halifax, Canada writes: As a scientist, married to a scientist who moved to the US in Canada's dark days of science (the 1990s), I can state that the Globe got the story, by and large, right.

    Stem cell research is a tiny part of the science story. It is typical of neo-cons to try to turn our attention to one small area of science that has ethical pros and cons while stealing from us our capacity to deal with huge, life-threatening, issues such as nuclear and food safety, climate change, etc. Is it ethical to allow people to die from tainted food? Is it ethical to fire someone who does what you pay her to do and warn of a nuclear risk? Is it ethical to stand idly by while climate change begins slowly to kill (through hurricanes, destruction of farming, increase in harmful insects) our children and our childrens' children?

    The USA has finally left the dark years of the Bush government behind and Obama is trying to lead us into the world promised by Jesus Christ, a world where the innocent children do not suffer from war, pestilence and famine; where we feed the poor; where we do not allow the 'money-changers' on Wall Street to defile the temple that is our Earth.

    The USA has chosen Obama over Bush. When will Canada choose to leave behind the Bush-lite Harper and be part of this new world order? Obama has deliberately reached out a hand to those who 'open their fist'. He is open and immediately began working even with his political enemies for the greater good of his people.

    Canada's coalition, while not perfect, still embodies the Obama values of inclusion, working with political enemies, making decisions on what is known to work and be true rather than on political power-grabbing and secret deals. What a wonderful world we could create if our Coalition was able to take leadership along with Obama's team to save the livelihoods and lives of families.

    Time for Harper to go.
  81. Alan Burke from Ottawa, Canada writes: Let me ask 'al near lake huron', do you support the existence of fertility clinics which allow couples who cannot conceive 'naturally' to conceive artificially, in a lab, and then plant a fertilized embryo into the wife's womb?

    If so, you're being entirely hypocritical because the process results in the destruction of many more unfertilized embryos. If so, you're providing the mechanism proposed for stem-cell research; since the ovae are destroyed anyway, why not put them to good use saving other lives?

    Are you also inclined to charge every man with manslaughter who spills his seed without impregnating a woman?
  82. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: ....we are yet to shake this millstone of ideological governance in Canada........
  83. Alan Burke from Ottawa, Canada writes: Do you doubt Canadian political interference with science? Visit:

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/12/12/prentice-maciver.html
  84. R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: Oh dear...in the dust..the hyperbole and hysteria of the left of centre Canada seems to be the personification of Burns' mouse: Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
    O, what panic's in thy breastie!

    ..we won't benefit from any medical research in the United States which is now the darling of the left after 8 years of complete vilification.

    Will the left trumpet Obama's new surge in to Afghanistan? Doubtful. Will they protest like they did with Bush? Doubtful.

    Most posters here do not advance any reasons but they are certainly good at character assassination.
  85. Alan Burke from Ottawa, Canada writes: Would you like an example of the USA 'Dark Age'?

    2008-11-17
    SciAm: Drill for Natural Gas, Pollute Water

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=drill-for-natural-gas-pollute-water

    The natural gas industry refuses to reveal what is in the mixture of chemicals used to drill for the fossil fuel.

    In July a hydrologist dropped a plastic sampling pipe 300 feet down a water well in rural Sublette County, Wy. and pulled up a load of brown oily water with a foul smell. Tests showed it contained benzene, a chemical believed to cause aplastic anemia and leukemia, in a concentration 1,500 times the level safe for people.

    The results sent shockwaves through the energy industry and state and federal regulatory agencies. Sublette County is the home of one of the nation's largest natural gas fields, and many of its 6,000 wells have undergone a process pioneered by Halliburton called hydraulic fracturing, which shoots vast amounts of water, sand and chemicals several miles underground to break apart rock and release the gas. The process has been considered safe since a 2004 study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that it posed no risk to drinking water. After that study, Congress even exempted hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Today fracturing is used in 9 out of 10 natural gas wells in the United States.

    Over the last few years, however, a series of contamination incidents have raised questions about that EPA study and ignited a debate over whether the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing may threaten the nation's increasingly precious drinking water supply. ...


    1/2
  86. Alan Burke from Ottawa, Canada writes: Remember Halliburton? Vice-President Dick Cheney was its CEO until he resigned just before the 2000 election. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about that:

    In recent years the company has become the object of several controversies involving the 2003 Iraq War and the company's ties to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney retired from the company during the 2000 U.S. presidential election campaign with a severance package worth $36 million. As of 2004, he had received $398,548 in deferred compensation from Halliburton while Vice President. Some commentators have speculated on a possible conflict of interest from Cheney receiving deferred compensation and stock options from Halliburton.


    2/2
  87. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Lyn Alg from Canada writes: If Canada fears being left in the dark re medical discoveries, we must rid ourselves of a Prime Minister who is an extreme, right-wing, religious 'Jesus-Freak' in the ilk of the former President of the U.S., G.W. Bush, Harper's former master. With Obama, the U.S. is starting to surge ahead and becoming a world leader once again. And where is Canada with Prime Minister Clueless? God have mercy on Canada. Where are you IGGY? Canadians are waiting for next week to arrive. I noticed last week that the moving van is already parked outside 24 Sussex. Good riddance!

    Actually Obama has been a born again christian for about 20 years he attends church regularily with his family. He believes that Christ died for his sins. He was adamant that the presidential oath included all references to God. So obviously he must believe the same as Harper as they both read and believe in the same bible.
  88. al near lake huron . from Canada writes: answer this simple question-

    if a pregnant woman is murdered, in Canada and USA, the perpetrator is charged with two murders. one for the woman, one for the unborn child, yes two murders.

    How do you state that if an unborn child is terminated thru abortion, it is not murder.

    In the courts it is judged to be murder.

    Please, one person, or 100 hundred, answer the question i pose....
  89. epoxy patch from Canada writes: To all of you who just don't understand how far stem cell research has come already :

    We now know how to convert differentiated cells into stem cells of various kinds. Stem cells do not need to be derived from human embryos any longer, so there is no longer an ethical issue of 'killing' anything in order to harvest them. This technology was one of the biggest breakthroughs of 2008, and it will lead to many more in this area. For a recent review : http://www.cell.com/trends/molecular-medicine/abstract/S1471-4914(09)00016-1

    If anyone would like to read it in its entirety, contact me.

    Signalling pathways that trigger development of the stem cells are being uncovered at a frenetic pace. It is now possible to grow certain organs in vitro from a single stem cell, other will follow within the next 2-3 years.

    Please update all your arguments to reflect these new discoveries, because the ethical stand is very weak now.
  90. Just the Facts, Jack from Canada writes: The opportunities in front of Canada in these most difficult times are unparalled. You and I may not benefit, but our children and grandchildren will if the right steps are taken.

    Will the Harper Ideology continue to stand in the way of Canada taking it's rightful place in the World? At home we have increasing cases of Listerosis in Ont., Meningitis infections in AB., Avian outbreaks in B.C., and this Gov't continues to bumble along, ignoring the basic needs of Canadians at home. Internationally, our status has taken a beating.

    Partisanship, politicization and incompetence are notable Harper characteristics. Flaherty, Baird, and Clement were in control during Walkerton. What's next...
  91. Syed Abbas of Toronto from Seattle WA, United States writes:

    ' ... As a testament to that, the United States Friday became the first country in the world to approve a clinical trial of embryonic stem cells in human patients ....'

    Stem Cell research has been going on in Dubya's Nemesis, Iran, for quite a while now.

    Justified on the Koranic Verse [36:77-78]

    ' .. who can give life to dry bones and decomposed ones at that'?

    ' Say: He will give them Life who created them for the firs time, for He is well versed in every kind of Creation'.

    Barack Hussein Obama, the non-Muslim Mohammedan, is catching up fast.
  92. Bob ImamI from Canada writes: ..//

    True Conservative,

    It's all about real science to me. The G&M routinely has articles written that hi hacks the terms of science to advance ideological and political agenda.

    That isn't science. That is propaganda, tailored for an ignorant population.

    WRT Global warming... the G&M's record is available for the world to see. It isn't science.

    WRT most environmental issues... the articles come from one zealot who is repeated in the most extreme places. That isn't news. That isn't balanced dissemination of information. That is propaganda.

    WRT this article and science in general. There is no substance, no example to support the G&M's 'screed'. Just blather. The context of these so-called science subject are contextual to political agenda... you know it and so does everyone here. Look at the comments.

    ..//
  93. Read Acted from Canada writes: This is crap. University endowments have been severely hit by poor choices in investments and the 'scientists' are now looking for a taxpayer bailout. Just produce something, anything useful, and you will have all the money you need.
  94. Alan Burke from Ottawa, Canada writes: Bob ImamI, you're one of the worst offenders; you launch personal attacks and make unsupported and unsubstantiated allegations, never pointing to reputable, verifiable and objective science.
  95. Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    The technology already exists to create stem cells from other types of cells. It was all over the news just a few months ago. Embryonic stem cells are in such short supply that they will never be a viable alternative outside of pure research.

    Politicians depend on the short memories and ignorance of their voters to further their agendas.

    Obama the democratic humanist apologizing to the planet by righting the wrongs of the evil dogmatic evangelical christian George Bush.

    This would make a good plot line for a blockbuster Hollywood production starring Jody Foster saving the planet from some sort of plague with stem cells while a rogue right wing administration is trying to shut her research down.
  96. Syed Abbas of Toronto from Seattle WA, United States writes:

    ' .... so from Canada's ivory towers to its lab benches, people here are holding their breath, wondering if Prime Minister Stephen Harper will send a clear signal in Tuesday's federal budget that science matters ...'

    Keep on holding breath until they are blue in the face. Stephen Harper is likely to cut Science Budget, not increase it.

    So Canadian Genetic researchers - dust your resumes and head south.

    Only when a Liberal MAJORITY Government gets elected in Canada will there be increase in funding for research. And that is not likely soon.

    Wait for your Canadian Obama.
  97. Research Advocate from Canada writes: Lets see, should we invest in the past by bailing out dinosaur industries that have no future or should we invest in the future by increasing our chances of innovation through research and education? Canada has long depended on its natural resources to be exported while we then import the finished products at 20X the price. If we want to continue to kid ourselves that we are part of the G7, it might be prudent to behave with some foresight.

    As for the article, it is flawed. As a researcher, I am not impressed by an interview of a professional couple who moved to Canada when it was convenient but hedged their bets by keeping their Californian lab and house. If we are to convince politicians that research is important, we should demonstrate commitment in seeing through their investment.

    As for stem cells, it is but one of many high potential areas of biological research. And for those blinded by the word 'embryonic' you might look up induced Pluripotential Stem Cells (iPSC) which is a process that reprograms essentially any cell type (adult, tissue-specific, etc) back to the equivalence and properties of an embryonic stem cell. This work will be rewarded by a Nobel Prize in the next couple of years (Yamanaka). It's impact will truly be omnipotential.

    Let's invest in excellence, not entitlement. This is true of any investment and with so much public money about to be thrown at the wall, let's hope that the decisions are based on future impact, not expediency.
  98. t scot from Canada writes: Bob Imami...you make me laugh. Of course it's political you moran. Politicians decide what get's funded. Time for you to crawl back in your cave. Pardon the insults, but people like you are the problem.
  99. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Just the Facts, Jack & Syed Abbas of Toronoto

    Morerhetoric and propaganda from the lefties.

    OTTAWA, December 12, 2008 — Canada is strengthening its knowledge base by attracting and retaining the workers that drive innovation and growth. Today, 312 researchers will be able to conduct cutting-edge research thanks to a $45-million investment announced by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) under its Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF). This funding program was designed to provide infrastructure to attract researchers to Canadian institutions at a time of intense international competition for knowledge workers.

    The investment in state-of-the-art labs and equipment at 44 universities across the country will jump start 251 projects in key areas of research, ranging from the environment, natural resources and energy, to health, and information and communications technologies.

    You should check out the the Stem Cell Network Canada to learn a few facts about stem cell research and the regulations and funding in Canada.
  100. Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    George Bush did so much damage the global image of the United States that Obama pretty much has an open ticket to do what ever he wants to further the democratic agenda, so long as it has the optics of righting the wrongs of the Bush administration.

    It reminds me of the Harper government taking over in the post adscam days. It is three years later and the liberals are only now starting to rebuild...............at least that is their hope.
  101. AddingMy Voice from Vancouver, Canada writes: Strange people here. The article talks of how far ahead Canada has been wrt science openess and funding, and still is, under a Bush administration, versus a Harper administration, and then all these posters rant against Harper. Shheeeeshhh! Get a grip you frothing antis.

    As a Physics PhD gaining ALL my income from private sources, I know a little of the Canadian scientific community. Enough to respect and happily support a lot of academic researchers and to heartily agree with the article that larger, more sustaining grants are needed, but also point out that we need the fortitude to cull the non-performers and placeholders, a particularly Canadian affliction.
  102. AddingMy Voice from Vancouver, Canada writes: t scot, now YOU make me laugh ;), what's a 'moran'?
  103. Dwayne Allan from Canada writes: MM, private funding as you suggest always results in outrageously expensive final products paid for by who? In Canada, that would be the governments/taxpayers. With funding our own universities and medical labs to find the answers to many of the ailments that are killing or crippling people we could not only save billions in health care but possibly speed up the discoveries or at least their availabilities.

    I believe the true point of the story here is that if things don't turn for a return to the better, we WILL see an exodus of the most talented here in Canada head off to where the can best apply their skills and not have spend more time trying to get funding than they do practicing their trade.

    When Harris attacked the medical profession in Ontario, many in the field fled the province. Some have since returned,many did not. That void is still being tough to fill. Do we need to see this happen at a higher level?

    Al, you really need to take a breather or lay off so much coffee. Abortion isn't illegal and nobody is rushing off to get pregnant so they can abort for a few dollars. Besides, with research they are finding ways to replace the reliance on fetal cells so your rant is just that. A rant. One without validity.
  104. Jesu Pifco from Canada writes: Wow, what an incredible leap!
    From undifferentiated stem cells to ripping the hearts out of children to transplant into adults. If actual scientific progress could be made like that, scientists should have cancer cured by the end of the month.
  105. Joseph Whistle from Canada writes: I'm thoroughly looking forward to seeing Ignatieff mop the floor with Harper. Looks we have a little Obama vs Bush/McSame situation on our own hands.
  106. Joe V from Canada writes: I don't care anymore. The religious country bumpkins that run this country and the similarly-minded electorate that voted for them will see the consequences of their actions in a few decades. And they will deserve it!

    Meanwhile, as Canada falls, my foreign investments will grow. But don't worry Canadians, I'll buy my clothing from your sweatshops once unskilled labor becomes cheaper in Canada than in China!

    Why would any university-educated Chinese/Indian want to work in a sweatshop when there are so many ignorant unskilled Canadian high-school dropouts who will be willing to do the same job for half the price?
  107. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: R. Carriere writes:

    Fascinating Harvard Business article here: A must read.

    http://www.harvardir.org/index.php?page=article&id=1803

    ' American businesses are increasingly moving their research and development operations to India and China.'

    'China and India between them graduate twelve times the numbers of engineers the United States does. Business executives such as Microsoft chairman Bill Gates say that they have no choice but to move their research and development operations abroad because a deficient US education system has resulted in a severe shortfall of engineers.
    __________________________________________________

    Thanks for the link, RC.
    We have fallen so far behind and now that there is a new administration in DC, we'll be even further down the ladder of R and D, science, medicine, engineering, and so on.....
    We're on our way to being ''drawers of water and hewers of wood''...

    What's worse is that we cannot ''import'' doctors since word has spread around that once they land in Canada and want to practice, medical doctors and other professionals face all kinds of obstacles and end up driving taxis... at least until they decide to move to better climes or go back home...

    That's my 2-cents for now.

    -
  108. Bart Farquart from Calgary, Canada writes:
    Yet another Barack Obama=God fluff sermon making disdainful comparisons about Stephen Harper and eliciting the usual reflexive 'amens' from the faithful.

    Q: When will such stories cease?

    A: In about six months when Obama, like Harper, has actually had a real job to do for longer than three or four days.
  109. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Joe V from Canada writes: I don't care anymore. The religious country bumpkins that run this country and the similarly-minded electorate that voted for them will see the consequences of their actions in a few decades. And they will deserve it!

    Iggy is an atheist.
  110. bruce t from Boston, United States writes: It's all about the cash. Science follows cash. Cash secures the prodigious minds, who increase institutional reputation that will in turn draw in other top researchers. Mixed with the right capital investment, tax breaks, this can lead to job rich start ups ideas as San Fran and Boston have shown.
    The writing is on the wall for Harper. Does Canada simply rely on its bounty of resources to survive like Russia, or does it join the real innovation era, that will be led by green and bio tech.
    As Obama will commit with NIH, Canada must do the same with its investment. Don't stay on the sidelines Canada!
  111. Joe V from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: 'Iggy is an atheist.'

    Oh, really? I did not know that. I think that may actually overcome my hesitance at voting for a de facto foreigner.
  112. t scot from Canada writes: Bob Imami...some pols believe in science and some don't. I am on the side of pols that believe in science. Conservatives tend to be anti science just like their religious cohorts.
  113. David Stevens from Halifax, Canada writes: The Regressive Neo-Conservatives under Harper are dinosaurs. We will soon be shamed by the open progressive policies of the Obama administration.

    The type of progressive social, technological, and economic policies advanced by the Liberals are a thing of the past. We are now aligned with the far right fringe.

    We are the only country to condone the butchery in the concentration camp of Gaza, while Obama makes his first international call to the head of the Palestinian authority. Stark contrast.

    A majority of Canadians voted against Harper last election. A weak-kneed fractured left and centre split the majority of the popular vote 4 ways.

    Our only hope is the coalition... and God help us, a right-wing pseudo Canadian called Ignatief.

    Very sad.

    Not a proud time to be Canadian.
  114. Bob ImamI from Canada writes: ..//

    t scot,

    Science knows no political, cultural or ethnic boundary. I won't be drawn into your other debates... you are on your own.

    Your comment typifies the essence of (G&M science forum = politics) observation.

    ..//
  115. The Religious Left from Canada writes:
    Bob ImamI from Canada writes:
    Science knows no political, cultural or ethnic boundary.

    That's hilarious coming from you.
  116. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: The anti-abortionist abusive control the world has ended. They can stump their feet, yell and scream but it is over. If they believe they can control Canada having lost the USA, they are mistaken. Harper does not have a majority to push any of their right wing agendas and he is unlikely to be elected 4 years from now.
  117. Red-necked and persecuted from Canada writes: Moronic ramblings by agenda focused females! God the Globe and Mail reportage sucks!
    Stem cell research was not outlawed nor was general funding cut by George Bush. There was only a funding cut for 'embryonic' stem cell research and, for the unenlightened, adult stem cell research is proving to be much more viable and showing better results than embryonic.
  118. Bob ImamI from Canada writes: ..//

    Red-necked,

    no. This is 'science'. you must remember that.

    ..//
  119. Mikey Dee from Canada writes: Wouldn't it be better to invest in real scientfic research than to use $30 M prop up the likes of NorTel?
  120. American Scientist from United States writes: I am a current life science graduate student in the US and I have first hand felt the effects of funding cuts, having to do bare bones science and become a Teaching Assistant to pay for my support for 2 years. I did not expect this when I started graduate school as I joined a research lab with 16 years of non-stop federal funding and an PI who is a full professor, lots of experience etc. It is was not fun and the lab finally has funding after previous 2 rejections.

    Furthermore, my PI was one of many American researchers who started out at a Canadian university in the early 1990s only to quickly return back to the States to secure funding and support.

    I am currently examining the prospect of doing my postdoc in Canada, a very unusual direction for an American to go, since there are several labs I'm interested in at UBC, U of T etc. Of course I'm following the funding situation very closely in regards to Canada since if I were to take a position I'd be directly tied to the funding situation and I'm still looking at labs in the States as well in regards to funding.

    It is only logical that in order to not repeat the mistakes of the 1990s, Canada should create more aggressive funding for science. Not only would you retain your Canadian researchers but you would continue to recruit others from the US. Most universities here now have placed hiring freezes for new faculty or refuse to hire science faculty due to the high initial start up cost of a research lab vs a liberal arts professor. Many postdocs who are nearing the end of their postdoc are coming out into a market where faculty positions are nil and would like to establish their own lab. Canada needs to stop reacting to the US and start acting on its own - it did that very well during the Bush years.

    Canada needs increase in funding, which would give more support for Canadians and incentive to recruit more top notch researchers. Stop freaking out and just do it.
  121. t scot from Canada writes: Bob Imami.. Sorry Bob, but scientists are enabled by like minded politicians. Politics and science are related whether you like it or not.
  122. Bob ImamI from Canada writes: ..//

    Mikey Dee,

    Interesting idea. There are a number of venture capital groups that invest in medical science research exercises. These company employ the brightest people, to determine if the technology works and if there is a real market.

    Dead -end technologies are left unfunded.

    The viability of technology via science is determined through markets ultimately. When governments ergo political articles from political papers get involve... it is a good indication it is bad science and a loser technology.

    Otherwise there would be a line-up of investors.

    ..//
  123. Ghetto Dude from Vaughan, Canada writes: Canada, devoted to science, is busy with mastering the notion of its unique never-ending education targeted to create a special sort of graduates that can serve as educators only, with infesting universiities with discourse-based departments, with encouraging and subsidising thousands of what-is-your-name courses, and with STRIKES in its educational institutions.
  124. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: 'Red-necked and abusive', you are mistaken and you are pumping tired propaganda. Republicans in USA were intervening in all aspects of science and politics to push for their anti-population control agenda including the UN. They were even interfering with dispensing of birth control pills and all aspects of health care system.

    You should not feel prosecuted while persecuting others for decades.
  125. G L from Thunder Bay ON., Canada writes: Well I can't speak for the rest of the country. Our Lakehead University has certainly received MILLIONS of dollars for Research including Medical. In fact in addition the Government funded some multiple MILLIONS(14.7) for the Private Sector Molecular Research Lab here in Thunder Bay and was in fact the reason that Joe Comuzzi decided to vote for the budget which Mr Dion and Mr Layton and their caucuses voted AGAINST! Mr Dion was later to kick Joe out of the Liberal caucus and Thunder Bay were internally gratefully.
  126. Fake Name from Canada writes: 'Doug F. from Hanmer, Canada writes: If you insist on being mere propagandists, at least make the effort to be 'good' propagandists. At one point I would have been shocked by the unrelieved bias revealed here.'

    In terms of funding for stem cell science, which was the topic, there's nothing hyperbolic or prejudicial about referring to Bush' era as a dark age. Stem cell science was banned for theological reasons - how much closer to Galileo does it have to get before 'dark age' would apply?

    **********

    re: Bob imani ... not that I expect you to listen, but VC funding is usually only available for technologies that can be expected to turn a profit within a short term (usually five to ten years), and . Under your suggestion of eliminating government research, the basic science (i.e. that which is done for its own sake, but ends up enabling important technological advances in ten to twenty years) would simply not get done.
  127. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Bob ImamI, pure research and dedicated research are two different entities. Pure research, opens up the world to new ideas while dedicated research seeking a solution for a known problems.

    Dedicated research can not seek open ended funding without producing useful results and so its funding should be tied to its performance. The performance evaluation is difficult but possible through sale of these ventures to Canadian companies through a bidding process every 3 or 4 years.
  128. M M from Canada, Canada writes: To Doug F. from Hanmer, - BRAVO, BRAVO So many people are dumping on Harper about his religious beliefs - has Harper ever discussed his beliefs publicly - I don't recall that he has? And why are these same people not quizzing Liberals and NDP on their religous beliefs (I believe many are practicing Catholics who might have a few problems reconilcing their views on promoting stem cell research with the teachings of the church - but that's out of bounds as it is only right wing Christians who are subject to such hate and anger). But Doug is right - we have NO interest in debating the ethics of such science activity as human stem cell research, let alone the role of public funding to support it and that should be the FIRST ACTION taken rather than shovelling a bunch of money into research so that we can top what the great Obama is doing. Rather the posters here were rather accuse of Harper of being a reglious zealot - how silly and stupid. Recall the commission on reproductive technology and the difficulty they had in arriving at any recommendations for public policy.
  129. Fake Name from Canada writes: 'Red-necked and persecuted from Canada writes: There was only a funding cut for 'embryonic' stem cell research and, for the unenlightened, adult stem cell research is proving to be much more viable and showing better results than embryonic. '

    Snort ... ASC is fine for what it's good for, but it's never going to regenerate a badly damaged organ, or any of the other really significant goals of ESC. Although if you were so 'enlightened', you'd be singing the praises of IPSC research.
  130. Durward Saar from Canada writes: Stem cells are stem cells and you don't need to murder un-borns to get them, it's just the left's preferred method.
  131. Watercooler Pundit from Regina, Canada writes: Start making the CHURCH pay TAXES. That would easily fund Stem Cell Research....AND give us a HILARIOUS dose of IRONY!
  132. Gabriel Allon from Canada writes:
    Imami your a 'Life of Brian' characature, please mind your step and don't trip over the edge of the earth this weekend.
  133. Michael Lezama from Dartmouth, Canada writes: Doesn't anyone question the fact that the US is now the only country to approve Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research? To the best of my knowledge, ESC research has been unsuccessful in producing any cures to date while much progress has been made through the use Adult Stem cells.
    It is unfortunate that the new US President has thrown all caution to the winds by overiding the limitations on the application of Embryonic Stem cells which opens the door to the production of such cells for experimentation purposes with dire consequences for all of us.
  134. Fake Name from Canada writes: Anyway, I doubt Obama is going to be able to find the money for the sort of significant funding boost that would cause a 'brain drain' all by itself. Of course, some of his fanboi's might move just because OMG HE'S SO GREAT, but I don't consider the a great loss either.

    Likewise, Canada isn't going to boost science funding, because of money being in rather short supply, even before you factor in Harper's ideological aversion to scientists (let's face it, he knows he faces a lot of disapproval among scientists for his evangelical / creationist background and for his denials of climate change, so why waste money on people who aren't going to vote for him anyway?). So I'd expect total science funding in both countries to either flat-line or decrease over the next two or three years.
  135. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Durward Saar, that type abusive fraudulent rants have no place in science. Abortion is selective and legal.
  136. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    If evangelicals actually cared about abortion and not power, they would work towards eliminating the need that some people feel for having an abortion in the first place;

    Sex Education
    Birth Control
    Economic Opportunities
    Reducing Crime

    But that's too complicated for them to understand. Instead, ban abortions and force everyone to do what the evangelicals want.

    For evangelicals, it was never about Christianity, it was always about power.
  137. Pamphleteer . from Canada writes: This country is the last bastion of neo-conservatism. Harper isn't changing a damn thing. He'll keep dragging us down until we get rid of him.
  138. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Watercooler Pundit, I agree with you. Non-religious people are asked to subsidize the religious institutions. They should be taxed.
  139. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    It's time we started taxing churches and religious donations. 100% of the that should go directly to scientific research. It will be pay-back for the past 2000 years of suppressing progress.
  140. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Dave Jansen, your posts are abusive just like your belief system.
  141. Prof S from Montreal, Canada writes: I am one of the researchers lured back to Canada from the United States. It was not a hard sell! Although I was able to secure research funding there, it was with great effort and sometimes through channels that Canadian taxpayers might find distasteful. We as researchers became lobbyists. Bush's office zeroed out our budget every year. We had to meet our senators and representatives and lobby to be added back into the budget. It worked, but at a high cost in terms of our time and travel expenses.

    As prospects for funding though granting programs dwindled, some researchers lobbied their politicians directly to have research projects and equipment funded as earmarks. No peer-review, little oversight.

    I don't miss my role as researcher/lobbyist one bit.

    I am happy for my American colleagues that this era is drawing to a close. Let's make sure that we never go down the same path and that we choose political leaders with the foresight to invest in research.
  142. t scot from Canada writes: Flat earther's and mouth breathers united against embryonic stem cell research.
  143. jack sprat from Canada writes: There is no doubt that Harpers religious beliefs and his Reformers affect their policies.

    There is also no doubt that scientists have been muzzled and if there is no action there will be a brain drain to the US

    But how does Harper keep his core Reformers happy AND move along with Obama?

    Obama has started ofs strong and is leaving Harper and Canada behind

    You have to wonder what his stimuls will bring......maybe it will even be better for Canadian head offices to move there
  144. North Star from Canada writes: In the face of medical evidence otherwise and being the only leader on the wrong side of the InSite file, Harper puts ideology ahead of science.

    Harper cannot be trusted.
  145. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Dave Jansen, your posts are abusive just like your belief system.

    -------------------------

    Your's as well. Don't tell me what I should and shouldn't believe in. If you need the threat of hell to be a morally-sound person, that's your choice. If you think faith should be a substitute for thinking for yourself, that's your choice.

    Stop knocking at my door in your attempt to make yourself feel better by trying to 'convert' everyone. Stop imposing your sick and twisted belief system on my society.

    Go live in a commune if you can't think for yourself.
  146. kev United Statist from United States writes: The level of newspaper-inflicted ignorance is astounding.

    I live in the U.S. and I know scientists who work in genetics. Lots of them. There has been no dark age. We still lead the world in any category you care to name. The scientific innovation pouring out of our labs are a daily occurrence, and have been for the last 8 years. Except for the lower echelon of students, who we are indeed failing, our education system is not bad, and our upper echelon students are competitive with any country and our universities are the envy of the world. There has been funding for both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell research all along, not just in the vibrant public sector but also through government grants. Fyi, there was no government funding for embryonic research before the dreaded W came into office. Yes, the government funded research has been foolishly restricted to only a few stem cell lines... but only in terms of what government money may fund, not private money. And one can make an argument that it was these very restrictions which resulted in the innovations of induced pluripotency, which will be applicable in clinical practice much sooner than the embryonic lines, which, besides demonstrating their considerable dangers, have yet to yield evidence of their ultimate promise.

    Epistemology should be your watchword. Your newspapers, as well as many of ours, deliver a pathetic negative wish-fantasy of the U.S. for consumption of the bitter of mind.

    Have a nice cold day!
    kev
  147. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    Why do evangelical's only care about the unborn children from women in difficult circumstances?

    Why do evangelicals not care about the unborn future generations that we are polluting to death?

    Why do evangelicals not care about the unborn future generations that will have to deal with the environmental destruction we are doing?

    Why are evangelicals pro-death penalty?
    Why are evangelicals anti-gun-control?
    Why are evangelicals against universal health-coverage?
    Why are evangelicals sooooo pro-war?

    Why are evangelicals so blatantly hypocritical when it comes to, well, everything? They are obsessed with power and control.
  148. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Prof S, beside that, there is poaching of educated Canadians that has not been resolved. I can only see a contract based education system and research in Canada that can resolve that. Universities, research centers should be accepting students willing to sign contracts to work in Canadian jurisdiction for number of years, if they have been subsidized.
  149. R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: The Globe and Mail headline 'dark ages' is a sad commentary on the role of the press; we benefit from diversity of opionion in order to debate and fully examine issues, esp. those with a moral dimension. To categorize one 'camp' or the other as being in the dark ages is insulting and elitist!
  150. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: kev United Statist from United States writes: The level of newspaper-inflicted ignorance is astounding.

    I live in the U.S. and I know scientists who work in genetics. Lots of them. There has been no dark age.

    -----------------------

    Don't worry Kev - American newspapers will be writing the same thing once we get rid of our own Christian-Taliban Imperial PM.
  151. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Dave Jansen, I must have misread you. I apologize for my previous rant.

    I totally agree with your last post.
  152. Bill Harrison from Canada writes: Nice story full of editorial opinion; and a great cliche 'end of the dark ages.' There are many who would disagree, but opinions that differ with the 'scientific' community are slammed by those who support abortion; by those who are anti religion; by those who see an opportunity to slam Harper; and by those who see for themselves a nice sinecure of living off grants from left wing foundations and/or pursue the government for grants. I support many forms of scientific research. It is just too bad that so many from the left and the right want to politicize it including the journalists who wrote this article.
  153. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Dave Jansen, I must have misread you. I apologize for my previous rant.

    I totally agree with your last post.

    ---------------------------

    I apologize as well - I make a good target, nothing new there!
  154. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Bill Harrison, the Mecca of right winger Canadians is Alberta where the Canadian oil is providing a lot of cash for their pockets. They are not getting their money by any divine intervention from any GOD.
  155. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: The Globe and Mail headline 'dark ages' is a sad commentary on the role of the press; we benefit from diversity of opionion in order to debate and fully examine issues, esp. those with a moral dimension. To categorize one 'camp' or the other as being in the dark ages is insulting and elitist!

    ---------------------

    Nice rant R.M. Did you borrow those talking points from the 'Teach Creationism in Science Class' website? You know, toss the whole common-sense and science crowd in favor of a supposed 'fair' and 'balanced' debate since, after all, there is a moral dimension to everything.... Nice try, but we'll stick to common-sense from now on.

    The only thing insulting and elitist has been the war on science for the past 8 years.
  156. Let me tell You How It Is from United States writes: More of the usual Condescending Canadian Journalism attempting to mask the decades long undefunding of pathetic Canadian science by labelling an entire era of US NIH funded research as being in the 'dark ages'.
    These washed-up American scientists who Canada took in to form 'world-class' Canadian research labs unfortunately perished in the academic world of 'Publish or Perish'.
    The fact that Canadians have to reinforce their inferior place in the world by labelling anything in Canada 'world-class' is just hilarious. No other country in the world has to banter about 'world-class' when describing it's Universities or research facilities.
    It's all about money in the last sentence of the story and these Americans will abandon the 'world-class' ship of Canada in a hurry if the money is right: 'Still, asked if consider returning, Dr. Nislow said yes. 'It's definitely something we think about.'
    Good luck with that Canada thing.
  157. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    I believe that the reason the evangelical/republican/conservative community has been soooo behind the war on 'terror' is that they are envious of the taliban.

    After all, the taliban is nothing more than a religious theocracy where religion was the predominate deciding factor in everything. See any parallels here people? The evangelical crowd is trying to do the exact same thing.

    What's the difference at the end of the day? The taliban want their women to cover themselves up in black sheets, the evangelicals want their women to remain bare-foot and in the kitchen.

    Whether the Taliban or their Christian-taliban equivilant this side of the ocean - a seperation of chuch and state is there for a good reason.
  158. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Now Harper is promising 'permanent' tax cuts .................
    .......................... just like Bush did.

    Conservatives never learn from their failures.
  159. Katherine R from Canada writes: This article exactly describes my position as well as my husband's. I am at MIT and could be tempted back to Canada at the end of my contract if there were options available. Otherwise, it may be wise to stay put and wait until more funding here opens up. If Harper remains PM we will have no choice but to stay in the U.S. as he will most definitely cut the research funding introduced by the Liberals.
  160. Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    'The end of the dark ages',

    Reminds me of Gen Hillier's Decade of Darkness.

    Trash at it's finest.
  161. Peter Cromerovich from Erehwon, Canada writes: Who would ever have thought that Canadians, and probably a majority, would envy a US President over their Prime Minister.
  162. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Now Harper is promising 'permanent' tax cuts .................
    .......................... just like Bush did.

    Conservatives never learn from their failures.

    ----------------------

    They keep repeating the same mistakes, every time they are back in office - the exact same messes keep occurring. I'm beginning to think they simply hate society. What other conclusion can be drawn?
  163. ichabod plain view from Canada writes: Let me tell You How It Is from United States writes: More of the usual Condescending Canadian Journalism.

    Don't read it if it offends you, there is always foxnews.com
  164. Mr. Justice from Anytown, Canada writes: In the USA ... first, it's stem-cell research ... then, it's gonna be research on the earth revolving around the sun and not vice verse ... then, its gonna be research on the Universe being older than 4004 BC ... what's next ? Card-playin' ? Dancin' ?

    Ultimately: Sin and perdition.
  165. Peter Cromerovich from Erehwon, Canada writes: Obama: Where there is a will there is a way. Harper: Where there is a will there is a war.
    Where Obama brings diverse opinions together Harper is divisive and belligerent.
  166. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: Holy cow. The moonbat rhetoric in here is blocking out the sun.
  167. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: 'Let me tell You How', you superior Americans why do you poach Canadian doctors if you can produce greatness. The fact is that Canada is doing well with less than 40 million people and Obama wa using a Canadian Black Berry that being copied by you Americans.
  168. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Mr. Justice, LOL.
  169. Fake Name from Canada writes: ' kev United Statist from United States writes: Yes, the government funded research has been foolishly restricted to only a few stem cell lines... but only in terms of what government money may fund, not private money.'

    Actually, in terms of 'any institute studying newer embryonic stem cells is EVIL and nobody else there will be able to get any federal grants'.
  170. Fake Name from Canada writes: 'Michael Lezama from Dartmouth, Canada writes: Doesn't anyone question the fact that the US is now the only country to approve Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research? To the best of my knowledge, ESC research has been unsuccessful in producing any cures to date'

    Well of course it hasn't; the religious fundies have been expending great effort to cut it off at the knees.

    Apparently it makes some sort of cosmic difference whether the surplus embryos from IVF clinics are used to try to cure some terrible diseases (bad!) or simply thrown in an incinerator (the status quo that the fundies are so passionate to defend).
  171. Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    I hear the reformers are having a cross burning in Calgary tonight.

    Followed by the sermon, 'If embryonic stem cells are alive, why is a fetus not?'
  172. Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Fake, the fraudulent morals are used to dictate the scientific institutions otherwise we would not see such activity in Canada where abortion are legal and the cells are flushed.
  173. David K from Guelph, Canada writes: dennis shemeluck from parry sound, Canada writes: dave jerk from guelph,
    seems you guys in con country just do not get your act together... neantherdals....

    OK, you have my attention but did you actually read my post carefully? If you did, apart from a disagreement as to the virtues of RIM, we are singing from the same song sheet. I agree, Nortel did some brilliant work but then they got scuppered by dodgy accounting. Besides is the Perimeter Institute not a research facility? As for calling us 'con country' we've been electing Liberals for quite a few years hereabouts, might even have gone green had Harper not aborted the by-election. Oh yes, it's Neanderthal, not neantherdals.

    Cheers
  174. martha stewart from Canada writes: There's more than enough funding available now but too much of it is wasted.

    And that's what this story is really all about - asking for more money.
  175. Mr. Shim Shalla Bim from Canada writes: In some ways, Bush was an excellent president for Canada. This was one of them. That's a competitive advantage lost.

    Plus, all of the continental integrationists bent on pushing us closer and closer to the United States have been quiet because of Bush's unpopularity...they were out in full force after 9-11 telling us that we need to harmonize and adopt US standards on everything, but quietened down after Iraq. Now that there's a president who has (so far) considerable support in Canada and around the world, we'll soon hear the statements and studies telling us that we should adopt the US dollar or let the FDA make our decisions about which drugs and pesticides are safe for use.

    In some ways, I'm going to miss Bush...
  176. Peter Cromerovich from Erehwon, Canada writes: I weep for every unfulfilled stem cell.
  177. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Dave Jensen writes :

    Why do evangelicals not care about the unborn future generations that will have to deal with the environmental destruction we are doing?

    Why are evangelicals pro-death penalty?
    Why are evangelicals anti-gun-control?
    Why are evangelicals against universal health-coverage?
    Why are evangelicals sooooo pro-war?

    Why are evangelicals so blatantly hypocritical when it comes to, well, everything? They are obsessed with power and control.
    ___________________________________________

    Why, why and why. No logical answer comes to mind trying to explain those Evangelicals...

    -
  178. Peter Cromerovich from Erehwon, Canada writes: Uncle Fester, I heard a rumour that Harper is going to privatise the PMO and the head office will be moved to Kansas. Stockwell Day will be VP of Religious Implementation.
  179. weird world from Canada writes: bingo...just hit the Blue ribbon award for dark age...Obama has been chastised by the pope...Religion 0..science 1
  180. another Canadian from Canada writes: Latest news headline 'Vatican Criticizes Obama' now there is another Plus for Obama, show he must be doing something right.
  181. Some Thoughts from Canada writes: Not much difference between the Liberals and Conservatives in terms of science funding, so unsure about what all the ranting is about here. We would do well to focus on those things we can do well in Canada and make sure that as well as creating mechanisms to foster innovation, we also support unfettered, curiosity-driven research at our academic institutions. As far as my earlier comments regarding the 'D' in R&D, maybe we should have a cap gain tax holiday for Canadians who invest in Canadian R&D-based companies...this makes a lot more sense to me than the Labour-sponsored Venture Funds ever did
  182. bill williams from Guelph from Canada writes: -

    The thread seems a little off the topic to me, but that's not unusual.

    As the article points out, in recent years (certainly the last four) Canada's advantage vis a vis the US has really been a result of US decline in funding, not Canada's stellar performance in putting funds into researchers' hands. That is changing; Obama will start getting money to scientists. So the issue for us is, do we ramp up spending on basic research. The answer should be yes; we should not have let funding decline in the last few years.

    The follow-on topic is this: Is there some policy or ideological bent that has been hampering funding? The answer to that is a DEFINITE yes. Bush is anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-inquiry really: He prefers to say ... not ask ('I am the decider'); why would we need to ask scientists what they think about evolutionary theory when we already know the truth about evolution? That has been the recent US experience until last Tuesday.

    Canada's current situation is as bad or worse: Harper's unwillingness to advance research funding aggressively has to be presumed to have a lot to do with his unwillingness to accept a view that is informed by inquiry rather than policy.

    Harper's elimination of the post of Science Advisor is illustrative of his disdain for real information. But there are other actions that he has taken that, while attracting less public attention, are horribly destructive of the public's right to have informed science affect policy rather than the other way around. Not long after he took office, he issued an edict that barred Environment Canada from providing unmediated response to public inquiry. By prime ministerial edict, if Environment Canada is asked a question, they have to provide the question and the draft answer to the PMO for his policy-driven bureaucrats to vet. This is appalling.

    Oil is an eventual dead end. Let's do RESEARCH.

    -

    -
  183. Fred Newtz from Houston, United States writes: Seems by a number of the comments that you all are more concerned with making money than with discovering anything worthwhile. Maybe that's because you know that the majority of the research is bunk anyway.
  184. will Nesse from Ottawa, Canada writes: I am one of the many young US scientists who have come north-of-the-border. Although the postdoc pay in Canada is poor relative to the US, the job availability in the US was not there for me. When I started my PhD education in 2002 money was plentiful and I was able to get into labs to do my thing. In a mater of 8 years I've seen some of those labs shutter, and many friends running the risk of packing it in. As a postdoc I am very concerned about my future. There are many faculty positions available in my field as an applied mathematician doing biological research, but all depend on extramural funding. At 8% approval rate you just can't get ahead as a young researcher. I love what I do, but lately I've been regretting my decision. To be a scientist you accept near poverty wages for a decade or more to do a phd and postdoc, then you roll a dice to see if you get a faculty appointment somewhere, where you work ALL the time to get your publications out and get grants, while making the salary of a OC transpo bus driver. I should have gone to med school...
  185. World Citizen from Lower Pumphandle, Canada writes: In a Fog from toronto, Canada writes: Tesa Rant from Canada writes: Babbleon ! from Canada writes: Dr. Winston O'Boogie from Aberdeen, United Kingdom writes: B from Sudbury, Canada writes: Lie Detector 2 from Halifax, Canada writes: Just the Facts, Jack from Canada writes: Uncle Fester from Canada writes: Bart Farquart from Calgary, Canada writes: Red-necked and persecuted from Canada writes: American Scientist from United States writes: Fake Name from Canada writes: Watercooler Pundit from Regina, Canada writes: jack sprat from Canada writes: Mr. Justice from Anytown, Canada writes: martha stewart from Canada writes: Obama from Washington writes: Another Canadian from Canada writes: random sample from just about everyone writes: .....

    ..... none of this makes any difference. Let's face it folks. Ghandi was correct when he said (somewhat hopefully, I am told) to the very poor and starving illiterate farmer who had asked him for advice: 'Well, I cannot tell you what you should do. Know that what you do is very unimportant -- but it is very important that you do it.'

    So -- whether we are Stevie in Ottawa, Teapot Tempest in Inuvik, American Scientist from the US, Joe Pimple from Werstplace, Sask., or Perfect Sunset from The Really Big Island, all we every really do is go for a ride -- most of us get a get a few score and ten free trips around the Sun, give or take. Turns out that some of us have to hang on a bit more than others, and others have to find that helping hand on the end our our own arm to make a difference. That's about it.

    Reminds me of the mountain-climber in the Alps who, at a particularly difficult traverse, was reminded by his climbing mate that if he should slip and fall [to certain death thousands of feet below], he should definitely look to the left: the view was fantastic.
  186. Alex Black from United States writes: Well, then, Canada. If you're so worried about being left in the dust, do anything and everything to prevent that from happening. Pump money into research, eliminate red tape, increase employment, whatever it takes. Just don't be left behind...
  187. ichabod plain view from Canada writes: What difference is the OK on stem cells and discussion on funding when the economy is going down the sewer.

    Those researchers in the US will be as lucky as Canadian researchers if they are able to hold on to their funding, never mind embarking on stem cell research, which has been going on for years anyway.

    About five years ago they attempted to cure ALS patients by putting stem cells in the bone marrow of a select few ALS patients. If I remember right it was in Australia, but stand to be corrected. I do not know what the outcome of this was, but my friend who had ALS had stem cells injected into his system (does not work) and he died.
  188. J S from Canada writes: 'L T from New York, United States writes: Looks like Canada already lost that 'edge'. I'm no scientist but 2.5 billion is a bit more than 3 times 793,000.'

    Well, the article DID say that it MORE than tripled. :)

    That's a fairly amusing typo though, I admit.
  189. another Canadian from Canada writes: Research means they are trying to find cures and it doesn't always workout, but if they hadn't done all the research in the past we wouldn't have come as far as we have in medicine. I would rather see doctors using everything at their disposal to try to cure a family member or friend than have them just stand by and let the person die.
    To cut or not to increase funding at this point in time when medical science has made such great strides would be foolish. It is better try and not succeed than not trying at all. If stem cells research can help then it would be a crime not to attempt to find cures for all the people who are suffering. Embryos do not suffer but people do.
  190. Oscar Wellington from Canada writes: Counterspy tells the truth from Canada writes: So, the mid 1990's were also very bleak for scientists. During cretiens time in office. Did he ever get blame for that? What about cuts to transfer payments which led to hospitals closing and medical school cutbacks? But, harper has only been in office for 3 years and he is expected to correct all the liberal mistakes in that time. Grow up, children - harper needs another 10 years to turn things around from the liberal dark ages. --- You truly are a laughable buffoon. In the mid 90's, when the Liberals took over what was left of a bankrupt country, some very hard and drastic measures were taken to stem the flood of red ink. We were spending 42 billion dollars each year more than we were collecting in taxes at the time. It wasn't until 1996 that the Liberals finally got us back into fiscal health with a balanced budget. Until Harper took over we were paying down the debt with record surpluses. In just 3 short years look what Harper has managed to do to this country. And I don't want to hear the nonsense about this being the American's fault either. Had we kept on the path that Paul Martin set out for us we would have had a sizable nest egg to use in exactly these circumstances without going into 64 billion more debt. We are now looking, again, at huge deficits thanks to Harper's free spending ways and his Neo-Con ideological bent that foolishly believes that tax cuts are the solution to all of man's ills. Cut taxes and increase spending: Does that make sense to you? It does to Harper and Flaherty. The 'hidden' Harper agenda is to bring this country to deficit so that public programs will _have_ to be cut. Then they can cut taxes some more. Then deficit. Then more cuts. Then deficit. Get it? That is the Neo-Con philosophy in a nutshell. Reduce government so that it will fit in a bathtub then drown it. It's nonsense but they cling to it like the Holy Grail.
  191. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Bill williams writes :

    Harper's elimination of the post of Science Advisor is illustrative of his disdain for real information. But there are other actions that he has taken that, while attracting less public attention, are horribly destructive of the public's right to have informed science affect policy rather than the other way around. Not long after he took office, he issued an edict that barred Environment Canada from providing unmediated response to public inquiry. By prime ministerial edict, if Environment Canada is asked a question, they have to provide the question and the draft answer to the PMO for his policy-driven bureaucrats to vet. This is appalling.
    _______________________________________________

    Appalling indeed. Imagine if that man had a majority....

    Thanks for the info.

    Good night.

    -
  192. Oscar Wellington from Canada writes: Counterspy tells the truth from Canada writes: So, the mid 1990's were also very bleak for scientists. During cretiens time in office. Did he ever get blame for that? What about cuts to transfer payments which led to hospitals closing and medical school cutbacks? But, harper has only been in office for 3 years and he is expected to correct all the liberal mistakes in that time. Grow up, children - harper needs another 10 years to turn things around from the liberal dark ages. --- You truly are a laughable buffoon. In the mid 90's, when the Liberals took over what was left of a bankrupt country, some very hard and drastic measures were taken to stem the flood of red ink. We were spending 42 billion dollars each year more than we were collecting in taxes at the time. It wasn't until 1996 that the Liberals finally got us back into fiscal health with a balanced budget. Until Harper took over we were paying down the debt with record surpluses. In just 3 short years look what Harper has managed to do to this country. And I don't want to hear the nonsense about this being the American's fault either. Had we kept on the path that Paul Martin set out for us we would have had a sizable nest egg to use in exactly these circumstances without going into 64 billion more debt. We are now looking, again, at huge deficits thanks to Harper's free spending ways and his Neo-Con ideological bent that foolishly believes that tax cuts are the solution to all of man's ills. Cut taxes and increase spending: Does that make sense to you? It does to Harper and Flaherty. The 'hidden' Harper agenda is to bring this country to deficit so that public programs will _have_ to be cut. Then they can cut taxes some more. Then deficit. Then more cuts. Then deficit. Get it? That is the Neo-Con philosophy in a nutshell. Reduce government so that it will fit in a bathtub then drown it. It's nonsense but they cling to it like the Holy Grail.
  193. The Bubble from Canada writes: The only way Canada will stay abreast in science is to get rid of the minority conservative government.
  194. Fake Name from Canada writes: ' Oscar Wellington from Canada writes: Cut taxes and increase spending: Does that make sense to you? It does to Harper and Flaherty.'

    I bet some of our REAL Conservative PM's are spinning in their graves over the current crop's twisted definition of fiscal conservatism.
  195. Fake Name from Canada writes: 'will Nesse from Ottawa, Canada writes: To be a scientist you accept near poverty wages for a decade or more to do a phd and postdoc, then you roll a dice to see if you get a faculty appointment somewhere, where you work ALL the time to get your publications out and get grants, while making the salary of a OC transpo bus driver. I should have gone to med school...'

    Not to mention consistent disdain verging on hatred from the political class. There's certainly something to be said for blowing off this whole science thing and chasing the money, although dental school probably offers better prospects there.
  196. Bob Hopeful from Eddy, Canada writes: So. A great many of you do not find Mr. Harper to be the best option.

    So what are YOU going to do about it?

    Are you ready to contribute to other parties?

    Are you ready to knock on doors and phone talk radio?

    Talk yo your neighbours... your friends.... your co-workers....

    The CPC have deep pockets. Help level the playing field and encourage rational debate.
  197. Dwayne Allan from Canada writes: Harper thinks science is the frontrunner of Scientology and he's afraid of the competition.
  198. censured ... from Canada writes: I love it...Harper's Bushism is laid bare.
  199. Douglas MacDONALD from Canada writes: Hey couterspinner you would not know the truth even if it jumped out and bit your backside.
  200. Counterspinner tells the truth from Canada writes: Oscar - stop drinking the kool-aid. I see you have your revisionist history memorized. Well, here is what really happened. Trudeau with the help of the ndp built up the national debt. That debt gave mulroney yearly deficits because of trudeau's interest payments. Mulroney kept the deficit to only trudeau's interest payments. Then martin came in and balanced the budget by cutting transfer payments to the provinces (he broke his promise by keeping the gst). In the late 1990s, Preston Manning predicted a budget surplus before the liberals. So, martin benefitted from mulroney's fine stewardship and the gst. Later on, martin and cretien broke the law by increasing uic premiums. So, the working people paid more uic premiums and gave martin his surplus. So, the surplus of martin were gained by breaking the law. As for today's crisis, it was fabricated by the separatist coalition and the cbc and other left wing media. Now, harper has to compete with left wing ideology by spending us into a deficit. So, did you understand all this?
  201. Kevin Desmoulin from TO, Canada writes: Ya WE do have Dark ages for sure, everything a conservative government gets in power
  202. Doctor Demento from Canada writes: Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes 'Holy cow. The moonbat rhetoric in here is blocking out the sun.'

    After Dick's moonbat rhetoric there is no light at all . . .
  203. Peasinour Thyme from Edmonton, Canada writes: I think the key point of this article is that we have to look at what happens when we accept a society that ridicules and disparages education of any type.

    Look at Harper's recent rant against arts! My gosh, as if being artistic and intellectual were vices. We hear constant mockery of scientific findings that ignore the message and attack the messengers. We have allowed Conservatives to create a society that thinks (if they think at all) that it is normal to be non-inquisitive and to resist any form of learning and culture.

    In terms of the sciences, it is critical that we encourage more research in order to drive our productivity growth. That is the key to maintaining and improving our standard of living.

    If the US is entering a renaissance, then Canada has the opportunity to collaborate on research. There are excellent models, particularly in Europe - and especially Finland. The EU has implemented great models to ensure mobility of researchers. Instead of looking fearfully at a brain drain, we should be looking at brain-sharing where the best minds are allocated to the projects they are most interested in in either country.

    The only thing that turned the superstitious mind towards science in the dark ages was the plague. Only when confronted by the certainty of their own death and the clear evidence that appeals to god were simply not going to save them, did people believe the scientists. They washed their hands and the contagion ceased.

    As we approach the brink where our own survival as a species is threatened, we will turn to science. We can only hope for our childrens' sake that it will not be too late.
  204. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: Mulroney initiated the serious downward spiral of Canadian science and health research. This was exacerbated by the early Chretien years, when all federal departments saw 10% cuts across the board. After years of attrition under Mulroney, this was a major blow. Then, the LPC recognized the importance of federally funded research in generating private economic activity. The model, epitomized by the U.S., demonstrated that standard of living and prosperity were tied to research investment by the federal government. We saw major investments in health research that led to Canada being recognized as a leader in biomedical research. India and China have certainly got the message.

    What happened in 2005? Not much, research was maintained with an inflation budget. 2006 is the more significant year. In 2006, Harper and co. with their complete failure to understand the link between federally-funded basic research and prosperity initiated the decline. Perhaps we will see something in the stimulus package akin to what Obama has done. Not likely though. The Harper government is more interested in buying votes with $50 tax cuts to the employed middle class. Screw the future. Science is the antithesis of the social conservative movement and it took a hit. It has continued for three budgets now. Just one more indication that Harper conservatives don't 'get it'. Without federally-funded basic research, there will be no private biotech in Canada. The jobs for university-trained HQ research personnel will remain in the U.S. One more reason to turf this government before they not only take down the present but undermine our future prosperity outside of the resource sector.
  205. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: Counterspinner tells the 'truth': In fact, while the first few years under the Chretien government continued the spiral initiated under the Mulroney government, all of the programs praised in the article for revitalizing health research in Canada were Chretien programs. Many of the trusts established outside of the auditor general's purview were, in fact, the programs that revitalized health research (CFI, Genome Canada, etc...). Those were the same programs that conservatives falsely claimed were tools to divert dollars into the pockets of Liberals. In fact, they operated with a great deal of prosperity and required matching private investment (usually in the form of 'in-kind' contributions of 'special discounts' on the purchase of research infrastructure). So, the record of Chretien on this is clear, Chretien built the existing world-leading health research community. Not surprisingly, Harper is working hard to tear it down.
  206. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: Peasinour Thyme, there is no shortage of international collaboration between leading Canadian biomedical researchers and those in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. Federal dollars for research are significanlty lower in Canada on a per capita basis than they are in the U.S. (even in the so-called dark years of Bush). Nonetheless, Canadian research is rich in talent and has 'punched well above its weight'. Unlike military spending, where Canada will always be a bit player, we have been leaders in basic biomedical research on a per capita basis. NIH, remarkably, will (and does) provide support for some of the best Canadian research. U.S. federal taxpayer dollars go to Canadian universities. The reverse is not true. Canada does not allow its basic research funding to leave the country. There is nothing wrong with that. However, a failure to adequately fund researchers who are in demand not just in the U.S. but throughout the world, will result in the exodus of the most talented. Researchers don't get compensated with large salaries. The only incentive that they respond to is adequate research funding so that they can best use their talent.
  207. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: Counterspinner, you know little of the truth. Yes, transfers to provinces took a hit along with every federal department. The deficit was tackled with the largest downsizing of the public service in our history.
  208. David N from Toronto, Canada writes: This is a pretty simple thing to call. America has wisely thrown off the oppresive yolk of Conservatism, so they have a chance to advance in the coming years. We in Canada recently very unwisely threw our lot with Harper and his band of 1950's style dinosaurs. If we want to move forward the solution is immediate and obvious - DUMP HARPER!
  209. Bert Russell Paradox, BC from Canada writes:
    Gloom doom and fearmongering, these University heads are there to Administer not to speculate, or are they in the same mode as a lot of business types, they just whine all the time and whether or not they make profits, walk away with big bonuses.
  210. Pamela Achurch from Peterborough, Canada writes: I firmly believe that religion and politics should be clearly separate in governing this country. In essence, religion is a private matter. However, this article has led me to question that tenet. When something as important as the funding of scientific research is so directly affected by the religous beliefs of the leader of a political party, it is time to reassess. Bush's religious beliefs dramatically shaped policy overtly. On the other hand, Stephen Harper keeps his beliefs quiet. Presumably, a large percentage of voters are uninformed about those beliefs; but, they do influence public policy from day care to scientific research. Regretably, I think the time has come to discuss a candidate's beliefs and how they might affect future policy during the election campaigns. Voters have a need to know before casting their ballots.
  211. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: Pamela Achurch, religious influences most certainly are influencing decisions about things like stem cell research in Canada. Stephen Harper appointed religious conservatives to the panel that oversees the decisions on science as it relates to reproductive technologies and stem cell research. There is no place for religion in these decisions, particularly since the religious objections to stem cell research are pretty much restricted to a subset of Christianity.
  212. Steve French from Windsor, Ont, Canada writes: Let's say we, for example, cure cancer.
    Then what?
    Yet another huge increase in human lifespan for the SIX BILLION people on this planet currently consuming everything like a swarm of locust?
    Even worse, let's say stem cell research solves the puzzle of aging?
    Then what?
    Like atom bombs, some things are better off left un-invented.
  213. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: Henry Wysmulek from Winnipeg, writes: So what does religion have to do with not wanting to see one group of people executed to save the useless and undeserving life of another group of people?

    Real enlightenment!

    Lets execute billy, john, betty and jenny to save bobby!

    Real enlightenment!

    ==========================================

    Right Extremist Zion Christian Fundamentalists = Terrorists on a democratic Secular Society
  214. Steve French from Windsor, Ont, Canada writes: Oh and by the by, the very idea that 'we' (Canada) in some way benefited during the United States lurch toward fascism, is utterly preposterous.
    No one benefits during such social regressions except the rich and powerful.
  215. Counterspinner tells the truth from Canada writes: Cretien's cutbacks to the medical schools resulted in the doctor shortage we have today. He said we don't need so many doctors and we can cut costs. I don't know how you people think that is a good thing. I suppose you also think trudeau was a good pm - when he was a disaster and a national embarrassment. stop drinking the kool-aid!
  216. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: peter jones from Canada writes: I always find that the people who care about 'dead fetuses' could not give a hoot about children killed by American bombs..or Israylii guns...

    so I am glad to hear that they are going to demand a reduction in Canada's defense spending and a complete stop to NATO and Israyli air strikes on civilian targets

    ---------------------------------

    Exactly peter.....if only these right wing fundamentalists cared as much about the children of the world living in poverty as they do about the yet to be born. Our existing youth will be our caretakers of the future, the love, nurishment and support we provide now will only enhance their future.

    Right Wing Extreme Fundamentalists = Hyprocrites
  217. Maple Leafs Suck from Scarborough, Canada writes: L David from Canada writes: '''''The Dark Ages were caused by invading Germanic barbarians destroying Roman civilization causing a state of barbarism and illiteracy.
    The Church did not cause the dark ages they preserved literature provided a philosophical framework for modern science, and successfully re-established literacy bringing in the middle ages. The churches founded major universities of the world such as Oxford, Cambridge, Geneva, Harvard and Yale.
    The dark ages may have just begun with the institutionalized and dogmatic suppression of any other views than what the self appointed majority is willing to accept, along with the oppression and outcasting of those who have them. Critical thinking is no longer encouraged or permitted. Liberals are only liberal as log as you do not have a different opinion then there true oppressive colours come out.''''''

    _____________________________________
    Okay first the main reason Europe had a dark age was because the church was NOT ALLOWING ANYONE who was outside of the realm of the church the ability to learn how to read and write. In those days the CHURCH WOULD ACTUALLY DESTROY RECORDS in order to prevent anyone from outside the church (average joe included) from learning how to read and learning about what was really happening in the world. The dark ages actually came to an end somewhere in Spain / Portigal when you had a group of 'barbarines/invaders' end up capturing a massive collection of books and scripts (in those days) before the priests could destroy them, they then persuaded several translators to translate the materials into a language they could understand (in those days the books would have been in Latin).
  218. Maple Leafs Suck from Scarborough, Canada writes: and by barbarian/invaders I mean a group of individuals (possibly north African mixed in with locals) who were either 1) getting tired of the churches antics or 2) looking to push back against the church for the Crusades
  219. Maple Leafs Suck from Scarborough, Canada writes: Also the individuals in Spain who captured the churches books/scripts had a few rich individuals from Europe who after visiting the middle east (around that area) realized just how badly behind Europe was and they realized that it was the church itself that was holding back progress ... those the end of the dark ages and the start of better things
  220. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: Holy cow. The moonbat rhetoric in here is blocking out the sun. ------------------------------ Block out the sun and the Evangelicals are trying to bring on the 'Rapture' ......I wonder how disillusioned and tormented their children's minds must be, to know that their 'parents' do not believe in or want to contribute to the society in which they live, to believe that the 'end of times' is eminent, to believe that their children shall not have a future, to believe that only they are right and know 'the truth'. Oh and give money to the preacher to buy their way in to their perceived 'heaven'. Truly sad, so shallow and almost horrifying to think that people can be so weak in the mind to worship a false and plastic money god !! This commenter post said it perfectly: Dave Jensen writes : Why do evangelicals not care about the unborn future generations that will have to deal with the environmental destruction we are doing? Why are evangelicals pro-death penalty? Why are evangelicals anti-gun-control? Why are evangelicals against universal health-coverage? Why are evangelicals so pro-war? Why are evangelicals so blatantly hypocritical when it comes to, well, everything? They are obsessed with power and control.
  221. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: Counterspinner, the number of spaces available in medical schools is a provincial decision.
  222. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: Furthermore, the number of clinicians trained has virtually nothing to do with funding for medical research. That is what the article is about.
  223. little bowpeep from No surprise here, Canada writes: What do people expect from a group of people who are scientifically illiterate. After all, the earth is only 6000 years old and Armageddon is coming soon, so who needs scientific advancement.
  224. Stephen Green from North Saanich, BC, Canada writes: This has to be the most imperfect article I have read for a long time. And, the comments are clearly from folks without any knowledge of the subject. In the first instance, I see no evidience that the Harper government does not like science, or even reduced funding for the discipline.

    Canada is doing incredible reseach and application in several areas of science and in many cases doing well. One of the problems Canada does have is when something is discovered, we neither have the mechanics nor the enterprises to exploit the discovery.

    Whilst the US or other global companies can pour lots of money into a particular item Canada does not have that depth. We therefore have to be incredibly selective.

    Science under Harper is no different than science under Chretien/Martin.
  225. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: Stephen Green from North Saanich, BC, Canada writes: Science under Harper is no different than science under Chretien/Martin. ------------------------------------------- you must have missed this post comment...tells it all.. Bob Hopeful from Eddy, Canada writes: I have a friend who works as a scientist for Environment Canada and he and his colleagues have been very concerned for years about what they feel is undeniable physical evidence of climate change in the north and the continued efforts of the Harper government to suppress their findings. They are under a virtual 'gag' order in their dealings with the media. When attending world conferences with other scientists they are continually asked why Canada's policies are so backward, and feel great shame at the less than proactive attitude of our government. It was particularly embarrassing when John Baird was the Environment Minister. The man is simply a leashed bully and took great glee in is 'my way or the highway' attitude. Is this the hallmark of a progressive society? It would seem that the Government wants us to view scientific realities through a mindset that furthers their political and idealogical agenda, while denying reality. While it is true that the Liberal government did not have a plan in place to meet it's Kyoto agreements, they funded research. The first thing the Conservatives did was cut all the funding and suppress any scientific dissent- not a hallmark of a progressive society in my books. Lets hope that the return of 'science' in the US will somehow wake up the Canadian voters as to what has been going on here.
  226. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: little bowpeep from No surprise here, Canada writes: What do people expect from a group of people who are scientifically illiterate. After all, the earth is only 6000 years old and Armageddon is coming soon, so who needs scientific advancement.

    ============================================

    I don't think that we need to bring Obamas religion and his devout faith into this.
  227. aging oldtool from Canada writes: Oh my, the Deniers' Club has suddenly lost its way with all this natural sunshine pouring out of our surge back toward reality based thought.

    Careful where you deniers step because the earth is no longer flatter than a useless Bush.
  228. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: I don't understand all the anger and hatred for Obamas religious faith?
  229. Will Farnaby from writes: Now that the USA has beaten back its own rats nest of right wing barbarians, Canada had better smarten up and quickly follow suit.

    As for solidifying the progressive political firmament, yes, by all means merge the Liberal Party, the NDP and the Green Party. Canada cannot afford vote-splitting as the Northern Neo-Cons drag the country backwards and downwards.
  230. Jean Hudon from Academia, Canada writes: There are indeed a few errors in the article. For example, average medical research grants are more in the 120K range and natural science grants are in the low 30k range. That being said and all the religious and US comparison noise put aside the article point to serious shortcomings of the Canadian research system.

    First: Everybody overlook the facts that academic research have at least
    three functions. They are producing knowledge but they are also create jobs (2 to 20 per labs) and are unique sites for the formation of highly skilled workers. So each tax dollar invested in academic research is giving a triple bang for each buck!

    Second: The CFI and Canada Chair programs have been very successful the problem is a shortage of operating funds, as of now Canadian subventions are at about 1/3 of US ones. Now the two systems are not directly comparable but if the average cash per grant was increased to 50-60% of US size this would allow for canadian scientists to: 1) take full advantage of the money invested in infrastructure and 2) spend more time doing research and less time writing grants.

    Third, Canada has good targeted initiatives to sponsor research with obvious short term comercial applicability. The problem is that is running after the train and not leading it. What is missing are clear efficient mechanisms to rapidly patent and bring to the market unexpected discoveries.
  231. C J from Canada writes: 'Jean Hudon from Academia, Canada writes: .... The problem is that is running after the train and not leading it. What is missing are clear efficient mechanisms to rapidly patent and bring to the market unexpected discoveries'

    True. If Canada can lead the train, US manufacturers wouldn't be dumping their no-brain jobs over here, and we won't be fighting over those jobs when plants start closing
  232. M M from Canada, Canada writes: Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: I don't think that we need to bring Obamas religion and his devout faith into this.

    Why not - everyone seems to think the Harper's religion and faith is suitable for some of the most bizarre accusations and statements of pure hatred.
  233. Joe Smith from Canada writes: Bobby Dy hit the nail on the head, and people like Counterspinner and Some Thoughts out to take notice. The state of academic R&D in Canada in the late 1980s and early 1990s was horrible. There was a reason why PhD's left the country in droves during that era (and it didn't have anything to do with ideology).

    Whether you agree with their fiscal policy or not, the Liberals' increased funding for university research starting in the mid-late 1990s saved Canadian academic R&D from a death spiral and went a long way towards balancing out the 'brain drain'. Boosts to NSERC and MRC, special programs like CRC and CFI, etc. made Canadian universities attractive places to work, and the country as whole benefitted from this.
  234. james cyr from Balmertown Ontario, Canada writes: More funding for R & D is indeed admirable, but one wonders where the money will ultimately be coming from...
  235. Jack Sprat from Bug Tussle, AB, Canada writes: Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: Holy cow. The moonbat rhetoric in here is blocking out the sun.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Only above your head Joe, it's blue sky and sunny most other places.
  236. Steven Ferguson from Canada writes: james cyr from Balmertown Ontario, Canada writes: More funding for R & D is indeed admirable, but one wonders where the money will ultimately be coming from...
    -----
    james, as I'm sure you know, the money comes from the taxpayer. This is however one area where using taxpayer money makes sense, within reason. Fundamental scientific research has the potential to benefit everyone and therefore should come from the pockets of everyone, as compared to many government programmes which clearly only benefit a few people.
  237. John Stacy from United States writes: 'US emerges from dark age, Canada's scientific edge fades'

    'We have come off a very good period compared to the States' the President of the University of Calgary declared.

    In 2006, the U.S. spent 2.62% of GDP on R & D; Canada 1.94%. The U.S. percentage declined a bit from 2001 to 2006, but not as drastically as Canada's.
    http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf08318/pdf/tab14.pdf

    From 2001 to 2008, Americans were 12 of the 19 Nobel prize winners in chemistry; 9 of the 20 for medicine; 14 of the 22 for physics. Among the winners were Australians, Japanese, French, British, Germans, Swiss, Russians, Israelis - but no Canadians.
    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/lists/all/

    A dark age for the Americans?
  238. Fake Name from Canada writes: 'Mary Smith from United States writes: Clearly, you're an idiot who knows nothing about Evangelicals. ... I do not know one person unrelated to a religious organization who has done the same.'

    Oh, well, that excuses everything, then. Several thousand religious people doing foreign charity work, counted against the several million who stood up to oppose providing condoms to slow the spread of AIDS in Africa. All because 'abstinence only' was ideologically preferable, in spite of the mountain of data saying it doesn't work because almost nobody follows it.
  239. Fake Name from Canada writes: ' Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: I don't understand all the anger and hatred for Obamas religious faith? '

    Try looking up some of the things his pastor of 20 years (and supposed friend) said. That might explain an element of discomfort people might (quite reasonably) have with his beliefs and / or sense of wise judgment.

    That said, he seems to have done a decent job separating his personal mysticism from the government policies he's announced so far, such as reversing the stem cell funding ban.
  240. Fake Name from Canada writes: 'Counterspinner tells the truth from Canada writes: Cretien's cutbacks to the medical schools resulted in the doctor shortage we have today. He said we don't need so many doctors and we can cut costs. I don't know how you people think that is a good thing.'

    You're thinking of Bob Rae (among others), not Chretien. The provincial governments control medical schools, not Ottawa.
  241. Mike G from Canada writes: Mary Smith wrote: I do not know one person unrelated to a religious organization who has done the same. I'm not saying they don't exist, but I've certainly never come across them, unlike the several others.

    -----------

    Sorry Mary, but your self-selected sample of one is statistically insignificant.
  242. james cyr from Balmertown Ontario, Canada writes: Steven Ferguson: regarding your post of 3:26 pm, I know exactly where the money will be coming from. I was being a bit facetious. But, I agree with the gist of your post with some reservations. How does the government decide who to give the R & D money to? What are the criteria to qualify for money? The introduction of politics into the choice of recipient (as is the introduction of politics into just about anything) has a lot of negative implications. Overall, I would favour R & D staying in the private sector.
  243. Jean Hudon from Quebec, Canada writes: The problem James is that the private sector is allergic to long term development. The best example of that is the present state of drug development in major pharmaceutical companies. They mostly played safe, copying each other targets and blockbuster molecules. Risks were not acceptable. As a result of this today the same companies are stuck with empty pipelines. The same is true for startups that have to face the need or immediate profit in a short term. This is good for some things but major breakthrough may take years in the making or yet not be useful before a long time. Take for example HIV. Before AIDS the interest in retroviruses was very low outside of academic research. However when AIDS appeared we were all very lucky that some well funded academic scientists had generated the knowledge to turn the disease around that quickly. It took about 15 years from the begining of the epidemic to the apparition of tri-therapy. This is a very fast turn around, that would not have been possible without tax payer sponsored academic research.
  244. james cyr from Balmertown Ontario, Canada writes: Jean Hudson: regarding your post of 5:04 pm, I am not familiar at this time with the evolution of the AIDS 'cure'. I would dispute, however, your last statement. That is simply not known for sure. I would say that it is up to governments to create an environment in which R & D (and specifically, the free flow of ideas) can flourish. One would think that 'long-term development' would be in the private sector's best interest, since it guarantees a long-term source of income. And yes, major breakthroughs can take years--that is just the way it is.
  245. Jean Hudon from Quebec, Canada writes: You know James, I just have to look at the auto, pharma and finance industries to see how the private sector is aware of its own long term interest and can be trusted to think about the future.
    Yes I am being sarcastic.
  246. james cyr from Balmertown Ontario, Canada writes: Jean Hudon: regarding your post of 5:59 pm, I would have to agree with you, since some of the blame for the current economic conditions can be placed squarely at the feet of financial and corporate CEO's and incompetent money managers. It is due to incompetence at the global leval in both the private and public sectors.
  247. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: Why there is a discussion on R and D when we are talking about NIH-funded research, which is not R and D, is beyond me. The point that Obama made is that investment in basic research is what enables there to be drug pipelines. Drug companies don't find the target molecules. They base their targets on the results of largely government-funded research. Without the government-funded research, they are stuck chasing down the same targets for the same reasons. Moreover, they can't afford to identify targets because of the breadth of research that it requires. If you think that drugs costs are high today, the amount required to pay for basic research would essentially put them out of business. They could not afford to do the discovery research.
  248. Joe Smith from Canada writes: The flipside of Bobby Dy's comment is that taking a known target and developing a viable (effective, and reasonably safe) molecule to interact with it takes way more resources than most universities have.
  249. Fake Name from Canada writes: Joe Smith ... quite correct. It's a pretty good system that we have now. Basic science funded by the government when merited, to develop an understanding of the principles involved in disease, followed by private-sector application of high-throughput screens to identify drugs that can narrow down the millions of possible molecules that might interact with what the basic science tells them is causing the problem into the few drugs that actually treat it. It's not perfect (government does sometimes fund stupid research along with the worthwhile, and the private sector sometimes prefers treatments that they can derive an extended income stream from over actual cures), but overall, it does a pretty good job. Likewise for the other sciences, but the life sciences are much more visible in most people's eyes.

    I suspect that most people who oppose it are actually complaining out of ideological reasons (hatred / mistrust of the private sector, or libertarian desire to see government spending in any form eliminated) rather than because it's inefficient.
  250. Gail Thomas from Canada writes: If science is judged along ideology lines, rather than morality and the difference between right and wrong, then we will enter a period where anything goes as long as it benefits some and not all. Man playing supreme being over mankind. Not good if we're all to have equal rights.
  251. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: Joe Smith, absolutely, although 'universities' have nothing to do with this. The university budgets for research are minimal. It comes from national competitions and is awarded to individual researchers regardless of what university they come from. The process is highly competitive and, as such, delivers exceptional value for the tax dollar (as validated by international comparisons). The point is that each (public and private) have roles to play. One cannot substitute for the other although it is increasingly common that public research first spins off into small local private companies that are later bought up by the large multinationals after they have shown promise in the marketplace.
  252. Jeff W from Calgary, Canada writes: Wow, Obama is in, he is not only going to solve the global recession, new scientific discoveries will be made now that he is in power! When was the last disease cured? Polio vaccine. And when was that? Science does not seem to have a good track record. Must have been Bush's fault....
  253. Pierre-Yves P from Canada writes:
    OMG... what kind of article is this? On the verge of ideological stupidity.
  254. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: Number of days the 40th Parliament of Canada has sat since June 2008: 12

    Salary earned by Members of Parliament between now and Jan. 26: $22,114.90

    Salary earned by Prime Minister Stephen Harper between now and Jan. 26: $44,229.80
  255. david y from Edmonton, Canada writes: With an article like this you can see how Nazi party came to power in Germany and Hitler was most respected leader in western elite universities 1938ish according to polls.

    US spending on education has gone up and US scientists won majority of noble prizes, France looks to copy US model as their own doesn't work so well, and yet "dark ages" because factions of partisan politics are so unbelievably gullable.

    Clinton and Bush both bombed Iraq for WMD, Kerry and Bush were very similar and Obama's policy of spending has yet to be proven better. Clinton and Bush both left office at the busting of an ecconomic bubble (dot com and housing).

    Today we worry about global warming in 50 years, but in 50 years problems from biological accidents from unregulated tinkering by scientists may be the real threat.
  256. Sue W from Canada writes: John Stacy from United States writes: 'US emerges from dark age, Canada's scientific edge fades' 'We have come off a very good period compared to the States' ...From 2001 to 2008, Americans were 12 of the 19 Nobel prize winners in chemistry....but no Canadians.

    Thanks for pointing out what this article doesn't. Just shows you some of the flawed research produced in this country! At least it didn't cost taxpayers this time.
  257. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: Ruth Walker from Edmonton, Canada writes: According to our PM, the world is around 6000 years old.

    Can you supply a quote to this effect Ruth or is it another of your frequent "unsubstantiated allegations" - see Editor's note.

    Since I do not know of such a statement and since this is not the first time I have seen posts of this nature, I will go out on a limb and tell you that the instrument has yet to be devised to measure how little credibility you have.

    If you come back with a reliable source for your statement I shall apologize on this board.

    Over to you m'am .........

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