So I confess that once upon a time, I paid for some of my living expenses through the fact that I knew how to work a computer for things like graphics and formatting. No, seriously, back in the early 90s, it made me stand out from other people, the fact that I knew how to work Lotus 1-2-3, Word and WordPerfect, dBase IV and, drumroll please, Harvard Graphics. At the time, I think it was version 3.0, and while people could do very basic graphs in Lotus, the real trick was to choose a variety of simple graphs in Harvard Graphics, add your data, and voila, you were good to go. Back in ’93, for my first job at DFAIT, we did a presentation for Cabinet where all the graphs were done in HG, in colour, and there were about 30 of them. Blew the Cabinet people away, colour slides. In government. » Read the rest
Most people who know me might think that since I have a pretty strong view about what limitations on freedom of speech look like and don’t look like for government workers, and that I even blog about stuff related to government, I would likely tilt against the current windmill of supposed Government censorship or muzzling of “scientists”. The argument is aptly captured in the press:
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Federal Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault has agreed to investigate how government communications rules on taxpayer-funded science impact public access to information. Legault is responding to a detailed complaint lodged by the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria and the ethics advocacy group Democracy Watch.
Their lengthy report — “Muzzling Civil Servants: A Threat to Democracy?” — laid out repeated examples of taxpayer-funded science being suppressed or limited to pre-packaged media lines across six different government departments and agencies.
The complaint alleges that by keeping government scientists from speaking out about their work, the public is denied the chance to request records — because no one is ever made aware they exist in the first place