Making NRC Tool of Industry Bad for Science
Lamont, Dougald, Winnipeg Free Press
I'm writing about the decision of the Harper government to let Canadian industry "direct research" at the National Research Council. This is short-term thinking that in the long run is bad for business, bad for government, bad for taxpayers and bad for science.
Basic science is the foundation of everything we do today. Purely theoretical research in mathematics and philosophy end up having practical and profitable applications.
Symbolic logic was developed in philosophy, but is the basis for modern computer science.
Einstein's theories led to the development of electronic technology from lasers to cellphones.
Canola was developed over decades in Winnipeg at the NRC and Agriculture Canada research station, developing a crop that has been worth billions to western Canadian farmers.
The Canadian West was built on innovation: the development of a strain of Marquis wheat that could be harvested within our short growing season by the Experimental Farms Service, a government department. Continual innovation has been necessary as older strains fall to disease.
The minister literally said the days where a researcher could make a breakthrough are gone. …