Tag: Science

Lack of science funding risks brain drain, CMAJ editorial warns

In the Jan. 27 budget, Canada's three research councils collectively had their budgets cut by $147.9 million, or five per cent, the editorial said. Neither Genome Canada nor the Canada Research Chair program, which allows universities and research institutes to attract top scientists from around the world, received any new money.

In contrast, the U.S. government is pledging $11.9 billion–$13 billion US for scientific research, and the United Kingdom is continuing its investment of 1.7 billion pounds $3.1 billion Cdn for applied health research in 2009/2010, although both countries have been hit hard by the economic crisis.

The more I read about the Canadian Budget, the more worried I get. Cutting research funds is the easiest way to completely gut scientific talent and nobble Canada for years to come. What takes years to develop will be gone in one year. Cue all the Canadian scientists taking jobs in the US or anywhere else they are available.

This is disgusting and something must be done. You can read the entire CMAJ editorial here (pdf).

XKCD Does Metric

Xkcd metric

converting_to_metric.png (PNG Image, 740×554 pixels).

One of the nicest things about moving to a metric country is, well, the metric system! Of course, my brain now does a weird mixture of metric and non-metric for a lot of things. I have, in general, lost the ability to figure out fuel efficiency in anything other than mies per gallon, even though the inverse relationship, litres per 100 km does a much better job of actually telling you what your fuel costs are (hint, multiplication is easier than division!). But, I am getting back distance in metric, weight in metric, and best of all, volume, goodbye quarts, pints, gallons, hello litre. Finally, 0C is freezing, not 32F, makes no sense at all.