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Mad Scientists

Canadian scientists and supporters staged a mock funeral in front of parliament in Ottawa yesterday to protest Prime Minister Stephen Harper's proposed cuts to scientific research. 

The July 10 event, called the "death of evidence" rally, drew an estimated 2000 protesters from across the country.  Led by a participant dressed as the grim reaper, lab coat wearing mock-pall bearers carried the casket containing the "body" of evidence up the steps to Parliament Hill.

The Harper government's budget cut millions of dollars and 12,000 government positions from basic research in Canada.  Major slashes will impact institutions such as Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Library and Archives Canada, the National Research Council Canada, Statistics Canada, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

According to the Globe and Mail, protesters "decried the Conservative government's overall economic agenda, which they say puts the environment at risk for the sake of creating jobs."  This includes the closure of research stations such as the Experimental Lakes Area - which provides cutting edge research on acid rain and phosphate pollution.

A great slide show of photos from the rally by Trevor Pritchard is available here at OpenFile Ottawa.

Trevor Pritchard/ OpenFile Ottawa

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