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Canada Science

Canadian Government Trucking Generations of Scientific Data To the Dump 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-look-on-wikipedia dept.
sandbagger writes "Canada's science documents are literally being taken to the dump. The northern nation's scientific community has been up in arms over the holidays as local scientific libraries and records offices were closed and their shelves — some of which contained century old data — emptied into dumpsters. Stephen Harper's Tory government is claiming that the documents have been digitized. The scientists say, 'The people who use this research don’t have any say in what is being saved or tossed aside.'"
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Canadian Government Trucking Generations of Scientific Data To the Dump

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:06PM (#45961029)

    No. Seriously.

  • by HellCatF6 (1824178) <HellCatF6@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:13PM (#45961099) Homepage

    ... is doomed to repeat it.

    Does anyone else get the impression that we're on the downside of civilization?

  • by i_ate_god (899684) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:51PM (#45961371) Homepage

    not to mention the fact that a lot of this research was paid for by the tax payer. This is knowledge that Canadian citizens have a right to access

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:00PM (#45961439)

    It actually makes a whole lot of sense. The reason why this is happening is not only to make room and lower storage costs but mainly that those records and other data have the potential to undermine the findings of future research. That is why it is important to have everything in digital form. That way in future data can be corrected long after it has been obtained in cases where it does not aligh with research, or discarded altogether. Every morning you wake up to a brave new world.

  • by icebike (68054) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:04PM (#45961485)

    Meh.

    If the documents have in fact been digitized then they have gone to a better place. Someplace where they can be used, in stead of moldering away. Some place they can't walk away to never be seen again.

    Just make them prove that they are available, in more than one location, from a computer connected to the web, and call it a day.
    Maybe these aren't in the public domain and you won't find them on line, but they should be asked to prove the still exist.

    Go visit the dump, and do some random dumpster diving. Google a passage or phrase from random documents and see if they
    appear.

    Lets not get too sentimental about paper.

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @12:18AM (#45961943)
    No, but it's symbolic of what the Harper government has been doing (from my understanding anyway.) Canadian scientists would be smart to make a big deal of it even if it's not. I mean, making a big deal of "You're writing laws to favor your special interests when we're telling you it's causing huge problems with the climate" didn't resonate with voters evidently. Maybe this will, and they can use it to help stuff that does matter.
  • by dryeo (100693) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @01:43AM (#45962343)

    The problem isn't selling bitumen to China, though if we have to buy gasoline produced from that bitumen from China it is a problem. The problem is China owning the majority of the bitumen sands. And yes if India was buying up all the oil producing land and companies in Alberta I'd have a problem with that.
    The other problem I have is selling raw product instead of adding value here. Even the Keystone pipeline was bad that way as it leaves us dependent on US refineries on the Gulf coast.
    We're a major oil producing nation and gas is $1.30 a litre and the local refinery (the last one left) which is located at the end of a pipeline (Kinder Morgans) has to buy foreign oil as the Chinese have already claimed our production.

  • by N1AK (864906) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @03:46AM (#45962851) Homepage
    Which is the same thing people far more notable than you were saying 100 years ago, 200 years ago etc etc.
  • by hebertrich (472331) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @06:29AM (#45963487)

    Harper has GOT to go . He's not only a foe to science but an enemy of the People of Canada.

  • by tbannist (230135) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @08:54AM (#45964329)
    That's because that's exactly what it is. You see, scientists are on Harper's enemy list. They won't say what he tells them to say.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @09:40AM (#45964861)

    How much did the LHC cost versus how much practical and EXPLOITABLE knowledge did it give us? I'm not talking about pretty graphs and charts and "a greater understanding of subatomic particles and how the universe works". I mean real, useful knowledge that can be applied to industrial processes?.

    (A few hundred year back:)
    "Yeah, what is the use of stacking copper and zinc plates so you can make sparks? Why not invest in something useful, like making a better cartwheel or ways to make slaves last longer?"

    You seem to forget that MOST inventions come from knowledge that, when discovered, at first seemed to be totally useless. When laser was invented, nobody had any use for it, and look where we are now.
    Dissing elemental science just because you don't see any short-term use for it is just stupid and exposes nothing but narrowmindedness.

We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter.

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