This week is Right to Know Week in Canada, intended to acknowledge and celebrate our freedom-of-information laws. Some 40 other countries have a Right to Know Day, but we Canadians get a whole week. And you know what? We need it.
Ironically, this celebration of open information comes on the back of new evidence of unacceptable political interference in the public statements of federal government researchers. In short, the information policies of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper are muzzling scientists in their dealings with the media.
"Deep Spill 2" sounds like a sequel to a Hollywood thriller.
Unfortunately, it is more of a reality show. "Deep Spill 2" is the name of an ambitious series of proposed scientific experiments that should be happening right now. Scientists from around the globe are ready, literally, to dive in to understand what is happening with the oil and gas that are spewing into the Gulf of Mexico with the force of a volcano.
There is one problem, though: BP won't let them.
The Belfast Telegraph in Northern Ireland has leaked news of monumental importance to humanity:
"An American biologist has stepped into the shoes of Baron Frankenstein by breathing life into a bacterium using genes assembled in the laboratory.
The creation of the 'synthetic cell', described as a 'landmark' by one British expert, is a 15-year dream come true for maverick genetics entrepreneur Dr. Craig Venter."
How would you like to get a gift from your employer? Last year the president of the National Research Council gave each of his more than 4,000 employees a $3 gift certificate at Tim Hortons. Offered in recognition of professional contribution to the NRC, Canadian Press reported 65 laid-off workers were naturally insulted getting the voucher for coffee and a doughnut on what turned out to be their last day on the job.
A group of 36 students in Western University's Master of Arts in Journalism class has spent three months studying and reporting on citizen science. Over the past three weeks we have been sharing our citizen science stories -- how it emerged and evolved, where it stands now and where it's going. Visit our Citizen Science page to read previous articles. The series concludes next week.
Stephen Brabin is very good at folding proteins. He twists and contorts their structures, bending them to his will. He does this, not for his living, but for fun.