Project

Interference in Science: Documenting Scientists' Perspective on their Ability to Communicate and Conduct Environmental Research in Canada

Goal: The objective of my research is to document the phenomena of interference in science in Canada by surveying the memberships of multiple scientific societies in Canada whose work relates to applied and theoretical environmental studies and sciences. In order to assess the current climate in Canada, my research asks do environmental scientists experience interference with their ability to conduct and communicate scientific research in Canada, and from whom does this interference come? Additionally, does the experience of interference differ for scientists in different career stages (early, mid, late), from different sectors (government, academia, industry, NGO, Indigenous organization), or, who self-identify as members of one or more equity-seeking groups (LGBTQ2S+, racialized persons, and gender minorities)?

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Manjulika E Robertson
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When scientific researchers are sufficiently resourced to conduct research and communicate their findings, the knowledge produced can underpin technology and policy outcomes related to the environment and society. However, interference with the research process and sharing of results has been observed in several countries, particularly for environmental researchers. This study reviews the history of “interference in science” in Canada and offers a first definition of this term. To understand the prevalence and impacts of interference, researchers in the environmental studies and sciences in Canada were surveyed. The results indicate that these researchers, as of 2021, seem overall better able to conduct and communicate their work than in the past decade. However, ongoing interference in their scientific pursuits and communication remains cause for concern. After documenting consequences of interference in science communication, democratic governance, and the well-being of researchers’ themselves, I recommend solutions to limit interference and improve knowledge mobilization.
Manjulika E Robertson
added a project goal
The objective of my research is to document the phenomena of interference in science in Canada by surveying the memberships of multiple scientific societies in Canada whose work relates to applied and theoretical environmental studies and sciences. In order to assess the current climate in Canada, my research asks do environmental scientists experience interference with their ability to conduct and communicate scientific research in Canada, and from whom does this interference come? Additionally, does the experience of interference differ for scientists in different career stages (early, mid, late), from different sectors (government, academia, industry, NGO, Indigenous organization), or, who self-identify as members of one or more equity-seeking groups (LGBTQ2S+, racialized persons, and gender minorities)?