Patterns of our Footsteps - The Future of Science and Research

July 26th, 2012

Earlier this month, over 1,500 scientists, students and activists gathered on Parliament Hill in protest of the recent dramatic budget cuts in Canadian scientific research and staged a mock funeral dubbed the “death of evidence”. When considering the implications of this “death of evidence”, we should also look at the “life of evidence”, or the history of Canadian research expenditure and progress. Evidence-based decision making is fundamental to Good Society, and we need to consider what will be sacrificing by taking note of how Canada’s scientific research and research community has progressed and developed to date.

The trends in the graph below show that the number of scientific journal articles by Canadian researchers has increased (overall) over the last 15 years. In addition, numbers of Canadian researchers and technicians have grown by approximately 40% and 50%, respectively, from the mid-90’s to recent years. The percentage of GDP spent on research and development has stayed steady at approximately 2% for the last 15 years; thus, as GDP grows, so has the funding for scientific research and development. Now, the critical question for Canadian society, is what will these trends look like in the next three years, after all the cuts?

Click on the graph below to expand the image.




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