Kirsty Duncan: Scientists must be free to learn, to speak and to challenge
Kirsty Duncan works for all Canadians to nurture science in Canada and encourages people of all ages to have inquisitive minds. Full bio
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that grows on rocks.
for that algae is rock snot,
has been sliming up riverbeds
wasn't allowed to speak to the reporter,
wouldn't let him.
may have been responsible
climate change information, right?
is suppressed for all sorts of reasons.
when I was a university professor.
of international climate agreements
and the Paris Accord,
to meet its emissions reduction targets.
information that's being stifled.
are obscured by alternate facts,
depends on discovery,
to undertake their work,
at uncovering the truth
of our collective knowledge.
the thinking of the day
or inconvenient truths,
what science is all about.
teaches us something.
is through one of my own adventures.
to take you back in time.
are roommates in southern Ontario.
of the Spanish flu pandemic,
they head for home and for bed.
wanted to know why and how.
to a frozen land
of the 1918 Spanish flu.
one of history's deadliest diseases.
in the Arctic Ocean.
Norway and the North Pole.
and were buried in the permafrost
would preserve the body and the virus.
that spectacular Hollywood ending.
and the nearby community.
and knowledge of others,
to report their findings.
started to improve in Canada in 2015.
to my time as a professor.
and industries around the world
twist scientific fact for partisan gain?
appalled by politics would do:
for the freedom of science.
I came from the world under attack,
for those who were being silenced.
that scientists were nervous,
a friend of mine,
were having on his research
deteriorating in Canada.
a phone call could be traced.
his wife's cell phone
in Canada into sharp focus for me.
be that afraid to talk to me?
in all things environment, science,
of Canada, Justin Trudeau.
as his Minister of Science.
science to its rightful place.
in December 2015
to back up those words with actions.
to talk to the media, talk to the public.
as a beacon for science internationally.
with something so fundamental,
suppressed or attacked,
are being silenced, speak up.
by exercising our right to vote,
an op-ed in a newspaper
on social media,
that will ensure the freedom of science.
brighter, bolder future for us all.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERKirsty Duncan - Politician, scientist
Kirsty Duncan works for all Canadians to nurture science in Canada and encourages people of all ages to have inquisitive minds.
Why you should listen
Kirsty Duncan is the Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities for the Government of Canada. As a member of Parliament, she has been the voice on Parliament Hill for the citizens of Etobicoke-North since 2008. Duncan has also been a driving force for putting science front and center in the federal government's agenda. She is committed to strengthening science and evidence-based decision making and fostering a culture of curiosity in Canada. And she is taking action to improve equity, diversity and youth participation in Canada’s research community.
Duncan is a medical geographer who led an expedition to remote Svalbard, Norway, to search for the cause of the Spanish Flu, the deadliest of flu pandemics, which has killed upwards of 50 million people worldwide. She is internationally recognized as a leading expert in pandemic influenza and environmental change and its impact on human health. As a fierce defender of the environment, Duncan contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization which, jointly with Al Gore, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Prior to entering politics in 2008, Duncan was an associate professor at the University of Toronto and the University of Windsor.
Kirsty Duncan | Speaker | TED.com