Canada scuttles its ocean science capability

It's not just in the area of ocean science. It will take a decade or more to rebuild what Harper et al. have torn down over the last few years.

This exodus is unfortunate in itself, but it masks the seriousness of the issue. In many research labs, the “80-20 rule” applies: 80 per cent of the science is produced by the top 20 per cent of scientists. This 20 per cent is also the most driven, and most likely to seek and secure employment in labs elsewhere. Canada is losing its cadre of scientific leaders.

Through budget announcements, the public is made aware of program cuts to budgets and staff. But this is the tip of the iceberg. As staff have retired or moved to greener pastures, they have not been replaced. For every announced staff cut, two or three positions have been lost to attrition. Mentoring the next generation of scientists is not happening, leaving a knowledge vacuum.