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The War on Science

Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper’s Canada

Regular price $19.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781771004312
  • Tags: Chris Turner, Current Affairs & Politics, Science,
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
  • Published On: 9/20/2013
  • 176 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781771004329
  • Tags: Chris Turner, Current Affairs & Politics, Science,
  • Published On: 20/09/2013
  • 176 Pages

A passionate and meticulously researched argument against the Harper government's war on science.

In this arresting and passionately argued indictment, award-winning journalist Chris Turner argues that Stephen Harper's attack on basic science, science communication, environmental regulations, and the environmental NGO community is the most vicious assault ever waged by a Canadian government on the fundamental principles of the Enlightenment. From the closure of Arctic research stations as oil drilling begins in the High Arctic to slashed research budgets in agriculture, dramatic changes to the nation’s fisheries policy, and the muzzling of government scientists, Harper's government has effectively dismantled Canada's long-standing scientific tradition.

Drawing on interviews with scientists whose work has been halted by budget cuts and their colleagues in an NGO community increasingly treated as an enemy of the state, The War on Science paints a vivid and damning portrait of a government that has abandoned environmental stewardship and severed a national commitment to the objective truth of basic science as old as Canada itself.

Chris Turner is a journalist and the author of The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy, a finalist for the 2011 National Business Book Award, and The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need, a finalist for the Governor General's Award for Non-fiction. He lives in Calgary.


"Chris Turner's revealing book should be required reading by all Canadians to understand the enormity of the Harper war against science so we can bring it to a halt." -David Suzuki

"A blunt and evidence-based account of Harper's extreme ideological assault on science, reason and Canada's international reputation. Essential reading for all Canadians." -Andrew Nikiforuk

"Canada is being remade before our eyes, and Chris Turner shows us how. With reason and research, he eloquently demonstrates how the Harper government is systematically dismantling the mechanisms of science and reason that have enabled this country to not only flourish but to earn the admiration of the world. In their place a New Canada is emerging, one in which unwelcome evidence is suppressed, dissenters are ostracized and ideology trumps rational thought.  It's a Canada that I'll wager neither we nor our allies would have ever imagined possible, and the only thing more alarming than the speed with which it's happening is the passivity with which it's being allowed.  The War on Science is an urgent book that anyone who cares about Canada - the idea, the nation, the democracy - should read." -John Vaillant

"But put all the facts together, as Turner does so ably in this important and necessary book, and you start to appreciate just how far back the clock has been set on Canada’s environmental protections … The War on Science is a tremendously important book and you owe it to your country to read it." -The National Post

"The War on Science is a book that absolutely must be read by every Canadian interested in the future of science and science policy in the country… Buy a copy for yourself. Buy a copy for your Canadian academic, public or high school library. Buy a copy for your conservative friends, buy a copy for your liberal friends. Buy a copy for your Member of Parliament. Make no mistake. This is a manifesto and a call to action. It’s time for the scientific community to get engaged" -Science Blogs

"The War on Science is a powerful and eloquent plea for Canada to not only restore its place as an international leader in science and environmental responsibility, but to once again become a fully modern state." -Winnipeg Free Press

"This is the story - by now familiar to Canadians - of savage budget cuts and muzzled federal employees. Importantly, Turner underscores that this issue transcends the environment and climate science. It affects how we address public health, crime, labour, immigration, and, ironically, economics." -Quill & Quire

"The War on Science gives us ammo to join the battle for evidence-based public policy. Read it and fight!" -Alberta Views