Science panel or is it a debate?
Kudos to the Quirks & Quarks team for pulling together a science panel/debate on their CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio One broadcast for the 2015 Canadian federal election. First, the tweet,
Then, there’s the description from the Quirks & Quarks This week programme page,
This Week: Our All-Party Election Science Panel
Science and environmental issues have not been mentioned much in this long election campaign. So we thought we’d correct that by holding our own debate with candidates from all the major federal parties. [emphasis mine] We’ve gathered together:
– Lynne Quarmby, Green Party candidate in Burnaby-North, and professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University
– Gary Goodyear, Conservative Party candidate in Cambridge, Ontario, and former Minister of State for Science and Technology
– Marc Garneau, Liberal Party candidate in NDG-Westmount, and a former Canadian astronaut
– Megan Leslie, NDP candidate in Halifax and her party’s environment critic
The panel or debate will be broadcast on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at 12 noon (rebroadcast on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015 at 11 pm and, in some markets, on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 at 3 pm and made available at some point as a podcast). The panel/debate will be moderated by Bob McDonald, host for Quirks & Quarks, CBC Radio One.
I have a few comments about the panel. I’m surprised they didn’t mention that Lynne Quarmby is the Greens’ science shadow minister (also known as, the science policy critic); Marc Garneau once wrote his own Liberal science policy (mentioned in my Jan. 22, 2010 posting; scroll down about 50% of the way) when the Liberals were less interested in science although they did evince more interest by appointing Ted Hsu, a physicist and MP as their most recent science shadow minister [unfortunately he’s not running in this election]); I’m not familiar with Megan Leslie as Kennedy Stewart is the NDP’s science shadow minister; and Gary Goodyear in addition to being the former Minister of State for Science and Technology is a chiropractor known for his response to a question about evolution. It ran something along the lines of, “I don’t answer questions about my religion.” As the howling died down, he tried again with something like this, “Evolution is like having a pair of shoes that don’t fit. Over time your feet and/or the shoes adapt.” It’s not entirely wrong but it does leave out significant and important aspects of evolution as we currently understand it. In any event, muffled weeping could be heard across the nation. Those were his only serious missteps. Of course, most of his subsequent comments were scripted.
I trust it will be an interesting and dynamic discussion.
Science & Policy Exchange (SPE)/Dialogue sciences et politiques interviews
#fromthefeed SPE Interviews Science and Technology Critic [Liberal] and Deputy Critic [NDP], Ted Hsu and Laurin Liu http://www.sp-exchange.ca/2015/10/04/spe-interviews-science-and-technology-critic-and-deputy-critic-ted-hsu-and-laurin-liu/
Ted Hsu (Liberal shadow science minister)
Laurin Liu (NDP deputy shadow science minister)
For those interested in the Science & Policy Exchange, there’s more on their Who we are webpage,
We are a team of volunteer graduate students and post-doctoral fellows convinced that science and policy must communicate to better serve society. We aim to make this conference the premier forum for stakeholders to discuss the future of the knowledge economy in Quebec. Science & Policy Exchange is one of the few bilingual student led initiatives directly engaging Québec’s political scene and effectively bridging the gap between academia, industry and government leaders. If you are a student in the sciences and are interested in joining the conference organization committee or to volunteer for our organization please contact us.
also available in French
Based on the copyright notice at the bottom of the Who we are webpage, I believe this organization has been in place since 2010.
It is exciting to see science becoming part of the election conversation. So, despite quibbles about who is or isn’t on the Quirks & Quarks science panel and the inability to phone in and ask questions along with the fear that ‘science muzzles’ will dominate discussion to the exclusion of much else, this panel and the SPE interviews are a huge step forward and kudos are owed to all involved.