Harper's Seven-Year War on Science - 2013-11-01
Chris Turner's The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper's Canada is a solidly researched, well-written book that had to be published. But the people who should read it are not interested in what it tells them about themselves.
If anything has marked the seven years of Conservative rule, it's been the Tories' willingness to repudiate not just previous Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments, but the whole of history since the 18th-century Enlightenment. They're a political vindication of Newton: for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction.
In this case, the reactionaries are carrying us back to sometime around 1513, before ideas like reason and empirical research became the basis for understanding the world. Like counterparts around the world -- the Tea Party in the U.S., for one -- they are happy to use the products of science to promote their deeply anti-science beliefs: television, radio, the Internet. But to the reactionary, science is valid only to the extent that it extends the rule of reaction.