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The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper’s Canada Paperback – Sep 20 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Greystone Books (Sept. 20 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1771004312
  • ISBN-13: 978-1771004312
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Chris Turner's revealing book should be required reading by all Canadians to understand the enormity of the Harper war against science so we can bring it to a halt. —David Suzuki

(2013-01-07)

A blunt and evidence-based account of Harper's extreme ideological assault on science, reason and Canada's international reputation. Essential reading for all Canadians. — Andrew Nikiforuk

(2013-07-23)

Canada is being remade before our eyes, and Chris Turner shows us how. With reason and research, he eloquently demonstrates how the Harper government is systematically dismantling the mechanisms of science and reason that have enabled this country to not only flourish but to earn the admiration of the world. In their place a New Canada is emerging, one in which unwelcome evidence is suppressed, dissenters are ostracized and ideology trumps rational thought.  It's a Canada that I'll wager neither we nor our allies would have ever imagined possible, and the only thing more alarming than the speed with which it's happening is the passivity with which it's being allowed.  The War on Science is an urgent book that anyone who cares about Canada - the idea, the nation, the democracy - should read. —John Vaillant

(2013-07-26)

This is the story—by now familiar to Canadians—of savage budget cuts and muzzled federal employees. Importantly, Turner underscores that this issue transcends the environment and climate science. It affects how we address public health, crime, labour, immigration, and, ironically, economics. — Quill & Quire

(2013-10-19)

The War on Science is a powerful and eloquent plea for Canada to not only restore its place as an international leader in science and environmental responsibility, but to once again become a fully modern state. —Winnipeg Free Press

(2013-10-19)

The War on Science is a book that absolutely must be read by every Canadian interested in the future of science and science policy in the country . . . Buy a copy for yourself. Buy a copy for your Canadian academic, public or high school library. Buy a copy for your conservative friends, buy a copy for your liberal friends. Buy a copy for your Member of Parliament. Make no mistake. This is a manifesto and a call to action. It’s time for the scientific community to get engaged —Science Blogs

(2013-10-19)

But put all the facts together, as Turner does so ably in this important and necessary book, and you start to appreciate just how far back the clock has been set on Canada’s environmental protections . . . The War on Science is a tremendously important book and you owe it to your country to read it. —The National Post

(2013-10-19)

"The War on Science gives us ammo to join the battle for evidence-based public policy. Read it and fight!" —Alberta Views

(2014-01-01)

About the Author

Chris Turner is a journalist and the author of The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy, a finalist for the 2011 National Business Book Award, and The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need, a finalist for the Governor General's Award for Non-fiction. He lives in Calgary.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an extremely well-written, informative book. I learned a lot that I had not known before - for instance, about the events surrounding the Canadian federal government's closure of the Experimental Lakes Area, and the fiasco at Fisheries. My only quibble with the book is its title and the blurb, both of which might give potential readers the impression that the book is a shrill, partisan rant by an ardent NDPer or Green (the author did in fact recently stand as a candidate for the Green Party). That is not the case: though the book is highly critical of Stephen Harper and some of his closest associates, it presents a positive picture of other Conservatives. Brian Mulroney is singled out for praise, but Jim Prentice (who was in the first Harper cabinet) is also depicted positively. In other words, the author goes out of his way to avoid being partisan. That makes his specific criticisms more convincing, and more devastating.
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This book is a must read for every Canadian in an election year and anyone else who is interested in freedom of speech, democracy and human rights and especially climate change, which hopefully describes most of us. This is an easy book to read and one which I found myself scribbling notes in the margins and a lot of pages. From early on the Harper government in Canada elected in 2006 and with a majority in 2011 has undermined the excellent science being done in Canada, much of it on the environment such as the Experimental Lakes Area in Northern Ontario. Research centres have closed and government agencies weakened and underfunded. Worst of all promotion of fossil fuels in Harper's vision of Canada as an "energy powerhouse" has curtailed any research that supports the true danger of putting carbon emissions into our air, e.g. the Keystone XL Pipeline. Scientists going to professional conferences have "media minders" to be sure nothing gets in the press that would contradict the government's current policies. The same problem exists with publication in professional journals if government scientists want to keep their jobs. Some haven't. Both of the above are the life blood of scientific progress. Scientists who had probably never participated in a protest march did this in Ottawa in 2012 because of the governments actions. This is just a small part of what is in this book. Democracy, freedom of speech, and the truth seem to be victims of a primary focus on the economy and oil. Especially because of the denial of the urgency of changing to clean and renewable energy and the upcoming world conference in Paris in December on climate change, this book is essential reading not only for Canadians but for people in all countries who care about the future of our planet.
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Well written and researched, but I had a hard time reading it because it made me so mad. Packed full of one example after another of the willful disregard for any scientific evidence that is not either of use to industry or in line with Conservative ideology, this 140 page book is guaranteed to raise the ire of anyone that believes major decisions should be based on evidence rather than opinion.The damage that man has done to our country's institutions and reputation is incalculable. This is a book that everyone should read before they next go into the voting booth.
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Format: Paperback
I thought The War on Science was a great read. Provided several concrete examples of how Canada's recent administration (Harper) has systematically gutted several key pieces of legislation that have been the backbone of our country for generations. It's not a particularly long book and I'm sure the author could have included several more examples/insight which I would have appreciated. All in all however, I feel it is important for Canadians to understand what has been happening to our once respected scientific community, all in the name of short-term gain for a handful of resource based businesses/people. This short-sighted thinking needs to be highlighted so that Canadians realize what is going on. Highly recommend for all.
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Comprehensive account of the devastating effect of Canadian government science policy on the national scientific community. Generally well-written, though somewhat repetitious and focused entirely on scientists who are government employees and government-supported programs, such as the Experimental Lakes Area. The emphasis on environmental science is understandable, being the area most obviously affected by federal government policy changes. The impact on research programs and scientists who are not government employees, such as the CIHR and university scientists receiving grants from NSERC, gets less attention, though seriously affected by Harper's science policy. A must read for Canadians who are concerned about the importance of knowledge-based policy generation in this country.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We've been hearing little snippets in the news over the years - changes to the Fisheries Act, the Experimental Lakes, closing of research departments - but it's not until you take into account the whole scope of what the Harper government has done then it becomes especially disturbing.

Turner does a great job of weaving all the pieces together, in context of the latest demonstrations in Ottawa all the way back to early days of discovery in Canada, and touching on the relatively enlightened Mulroney era.

Do yourself a favour, especially if you think of Canada as a progressive country - read this book ASAP.
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