I am going on hiatus. I may pop in from time to time, but it will be in the form of an isolated post or tweet. I am - at least for now - suspending my almost-daily posting of Canadian science stories.
It has been a little more than 3 years now. I started the "@speakup4sci" Twitter handle - which has since grown to include a blog and a Facebook page - because I was increasingly dismayed at the attacks that science - and specifically Canadian Science - was taking. Whether it was the anti-vax movement, the "useful idiots" supporting the Koch-bros oil empire, or the decision-based fact-making of the Federal Conservatives, I saw the voice of science - of reason, of facts, of reality - being drowned out by the dull roar of ignorance and self-interest.
I decided to start my Twitter account to share the excellent science that I saw every day in the world around me. And it's been fun. Almost 13,000 tweets later - most of which were postings of science stories in the news - I have learned so much about science, Canadian scientists and universities, and about science policy that I am amazed that my head can hold it.
It has, however, became clear to me that kibbitzing on the Internet is not how you effect real change. To do that you need to get involved with the political process, because that is where decisions are being made. To stand up for science, you first have to get off your ass. And that is what I am doing.
This year I will be working with a candidate in my local riding - a candidate that I think is the best choice and who I think can help effect change. This will require time and effort, and something has to give so I can make the time and give the effort - in this case it is @speakup4sci and the associated properties.
While there is some sadness, I recognize that the world of Canadian Science has changed. Numerous people and organizations have sprung up to defend Canadian science. Whether it is Evidence for Democracy, Science Borealis, Our Right to Know (@sci4knowing) , John Dupuis, Diane Orihel, or any of a host of others (the list is too long to try to be complete), I step aside knowing that Canadian Science advocacy is alive and well. The gap I saw when I started? It is well and truly filled.
So I step aside knowing that there are others who are doing the job that I saw needed doing, and are doing it much better than I ever could.
Like I said above - I will return from time to time, but the almost-daily listing of Canadian Science stories will (at least for now) have to stop. I must get off my ass and enter the world of politics for the next few months.
Thank you providing me with an audience. And thank you for caring about Canadian Science. And thank you for caring about the future of Canada and Canadian democracy. You are all beautiful people.
And so, as the title says - So long, and thanks for all the science.
And don't forget to vote!
Your friend, @speakup4sci