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CBC readers react to scientists' 'death' of evidence funeral

Categories: Canada, Community, Science & Technology

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Concerned scientists say the federal government's policies have dealt such a blow to research that the Grim Reaper is an appropriate mascot for their "Death of Evidence" rally. (CBC)

The mock funeral for the death of scientific evidence in Canada certainly inspired grief among CBC readers who duked it out over the merits of Wednesday's protest.

Many came forward in the CBCNews.ca comments section and CBC News Facebook page to commend the white coat-sporting scientists and their supporters, who brought a wooden coffin containing "the body of evidence" to Parliament Hill.

When we asked readers if the Grim Reaper imagery effectively got the scientists' point across, 88 per cent of roughly 2,200 respondents said 'yes.' Only 7 per cent said 'no.'

But opinions were far from uniform in the comment sections below our news story, community blog post and background feature. Many comments generated their own threads, and the back and forth was, often, too heated to quote here.

Overall, it's fair to say not everyone was convinced that the government policies and budget cuts are stifling science. A vocal contingent said the demonstration was hyperbolic.

  • "Just because the government doesn't fund your project or the project you think should be funded does not equate to trampling on free speech. Everything is getting cut by the government. Everything. So that means that there will be less to go around, including for scientific research. If you don't like it, go out and raise the missing money and fund it yourself, the government can't fund everything." - StickyGold
  • "I see drama and hyperbole are alive and well. Where is the evidence that the federal budget has killed science? Emotional knee-jerking politics isn't very scientific." - TrueBlueMC
  • "Considering that no one likes budget cuts yet the government needs to control spending - who decides where to cut? The duly elected government I dare say. While I agree scientific evidence is important, they have been wrong, and like any system, there are flaws and foibles therefore it is not sacrosanct." - ducimus1

But the majority decried cuts to federal science programs, legislative changes in the recent budget implementation bill and the "muzzling" of scientists.

  • "You know, it takes a special kind of government to get statisticians up in arms and to get scientists of all types to march in a protest. I can't remember this happening under any other government." - azawalli
  • "We need science; it's research and the true facts that come with that in order to make wise economic decisions for the future of this country and the world. Science and research are more important than anything else. Yes, everything is getting cut but the cuts they are making within science in Canada right now is a fool's game." - Character 6
  • "As a scientist and a university professor I can say there is a chill being felt in the scientific community, especially amongst government employed scientists, but also scientists in the university sector who rely on federal funding for their research. I was told by a colleague who sits on one of the federal science funding agencies that a government minder sits in on all their meetings." - Life in Brandon
  • "This is extraordinary! When you consider how far scientists will go not to take to the streets this has to be seen as a serious call to action." - alexandramorton

We also checked in on social media to round up pictures from the rally.

Thank you, as always, for following our coverage. Please feel free to continue to comment on or challenge any of these points and continue the conversation below.

Tags: Canada, Science & Technology

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