Memorial sociologist co-organizes Write2Know campaign
Memorial University sociologist Dr. MaxLiboiron is a co-organizer (with York University's Dr. Natasha Myers) of the recently launched national initiative Write2@Know, a letter-writing campaign mobilizing the public to ask federal scientists and Ministers about the results of the government’s environmental monitoring and scientific research programs.
“Canadians have a right to know about the health of their bodies, communities and environments,” says Dr. Liboiron. “The general public needs to knows what’s in our air, water, soil and food. They need to know who is conducting the research to predict the effects of climate change.”
Dr. Liboiron is a founding member of WaSTE (Waste and Science, Technology & Environment), an interdisciplinary research hub based at Memorial that is examining the confluence of social and material “matters of concern” as they pertain to waste. WaSTE is one of eight national groups supporting Write2@Know.
Federal scientists funded by Canadian tax dollars are among those generating evidence relevant to public health and safety. They have been doing this work for decades, amassing large quantities of data in archives and libraries. Their research gives the public a long view of social and environmental change.
According to a press release issued from Write2Know, “the Canadian government has recently cancelled over a hundred research programs and fired thousands of scientists conducting essential research. They have shuttered libraries and destroyed data archives. The government’s communications policies impose significant constraints that impact federal scientists’ ability to speak directly to the media, the public, and even other researchers about the results of their work.”
The Write2Know initiative aims to demonstrate: the public desire for information that directly affects health and safety; support for federally funded science and scientists; the need to protect databases, archives, and libraries; and the importance of reinstating the essential programs that monitor human and environmental health. The letters pay close attention to gaps between scientific evidence and federal policy.
The Write2Know project is an initiative of the Politics of Evidence Working Group based at York University. Supporters for Write2Know include: WaSTE, Scientists for the Right to Know,, Evidence for DemocracyDESMOG Canada, Canadian Association of University Teachers, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) Institute for Science and Technology Studies (York University) and The Technoscience Research Unit ( University of Toronto).