When pure research suffers, we all do

More arguments pointing out the essential wrong-headed-ness of the Conservatives approach to science. 

But the discovery of the RECQL mutation wasn’t due to a public-private partnership. It wasn’t done in collaboration with a patent-holder like Myriad, which until recently held all the cards in testing for mutations on BRCA1 and BRCA2. It wasn’t done with the aid of a direct-to-consumer genetics tester like 23andMe, or ColorGenomics, or any of the others offering spit kits for at-home genetic testing. It was the result of pure research, which is something the Conservative government has done everything it can to halt, silence, or otherwise end — especially when it relates to the environment. Scientists at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans can’t speak to the media without permission. Scientists at Environment Canada were prevented from doing interviews with Nature Magazine. Stories about environmental science in Canadian media dropped by 80 per cent after 2006.