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1198 Is scientific inquiry incompatible with government information control?

By Jeffrey A. Hutchings Carl Walters


and Richard L. Haedrich Abstract: Government-administered science in Canada, and its potential for bureaucratic and political interference, merits examination in the wake of the biological and socioeconomic catastrophes associated with recent fishery collapses. We cite specific research on Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) habitat to illustrate how nonscience influences can interfere with the dissemination of scientific information and the conduct of science in the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The present framework for linking fisheries science with fisheries management has permitted, intentionally or unintentionally, a suppression of scientific uncertainty and a failure to document comprehensively legitimate differences in scientific opinion. We suggest that the conservation of natural resources is not facilitated by science integrated within a political body. The formation of a politically independent organization of fisheries scientists, or some such reorganization of the link between scientific research and the management of natural resources, merits serious and open debate. Résumé: La science administrée par le gouvernement au Canada, et sa vulnérabilité à l’intervention bureaucratique et politique, doit faire l’objet d’un examen à la suite des catastrophes biologiques et socio-économiques liées à l’effondrement récent des pêches. Nous citons de la recherche spécifique sur la morue franche (Gadus morhua) ainsi que l’habitat du saumon du Pacifique (Oncorhynchus spp.) pour démontrer comment des interventions non scientifiques peuvent gêner la diffusion de l’information scientifique et la conduite de la science au ministère des Pêches et des Océans du Canada. Le cadre de travai

Year: 2013
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