Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Science cuts and general news

From the news:
  • Interesting article on anti-aging drugs from Wired, where scientists think that this new class of drugs might be the key to fighting cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and just about everything else under the sun.
  • A great piece in CBC suggesting that forward-facing strollers are bad for a child's social and verbal development. This makes a lot of sense: kids of stroller age have brains that are designed for learning about faces and language.
From the InterWeb:
  • Wired's 10 favourite biology videos. Just awesome (except the PCR song - man, I hate the PCR song). I'll be commenting on at least one or two over the next while.
* * *

According to this CBC article, Statistics Canada reported Thursday that federal spending in science and technology is about to drop for the first time in 5 years, which is about the same time we elected Paul Martin to a minority government. Now admittedly these cuts seem small - about 3% - but this represents hundreds of millions of dollars lost for funding science and innovation in this country.

I don't think this is a good idea, but I'll declare a conflict of interest being a scientist who would like to be employed in Canada. Even still, it seems natural that investment in alternative energy production will create domestic skilled jobs desperately needed by Canadians. Of course, it would cost money now, and it will be years before we see any real return from this investment. But unlike investing in shady debt trading - asset-backed commercial papers, or subprime mortgages - this economic activity would create real wealth, and by that I mean jobs, clean energy, and Canadian businesses with a head start in a globally important industry.

No comments: