, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Scientific funding is not a voter priority. We were fortunate the 🇨🇦 gov took the Fundamental Science Review seriously. At one point, it wasn’t looking that way. Yay, #SupportTheReport. That it feels it has now finished its work is a worry, but...
2/ Our job as a scientific community is not to lobby for incremental change, a few more dollars for the agencies, a few more crumbs. Instead, look South for inspiration.
3/ NIH has bipartisan support. Trumpian threats to cut its budget are tossed aside. It rises above the enormous political divide. It enjoys a stellar reputation and awareness of the good it does, both as an economic driver and for quality of life.
4/ We (🇨🇦) need to set our sights as high, to learn from our US colleagues and to breakout of the current mentality that science is a “nice to have” rather than an essential resource. None of our parties think that way.
5/ Part of the fault is undoubtedly ours. We fail to educate or make as compelling case as we should. We set low expectations and dutifully thank our politicians for any attention given.
6/ But the FSR was the first review of 🇨🇦 science in over 40 years. We won’t get another in our research lifetimes & to be clear, the ecosystem is stagnating due to years of neglect and Pet projects. It’s time to change thinking.
7/ This won’t come from Institutions - they have complicated and mixed needs and are consequently conflicted. Instead, it must come from researchers - especially scientists who are more flexible, energetic, have far more to gain and are currently under-resourced.
8/ The FSR is a good start, the NIH & NSF are the comparators. Perhaps we need a Wellcome Trust or ERC or HHMI? Perhaps a new model for the tricouncils. We need a rethink before the frog finally realizes it’s in boiling water.
9/ It took creation of CIHR to escape the moribund state of the MRC. That was bold and decisive. Attempts at fixes since have led to short-sighted (and term) adventures to benefit a few but deprecate the whole.
10/ So rather than continuing to repaint our wobbly structures, it’s time to raise appreciation of science, to create a modern research system from the best parts we have - to drive 🇨🇦’s future prosperity. A system no political party could afford to ignore. /end #vision
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