Friday, July 17, 2009

Gary Goodyear and the Religious Right

1. Conferences, Peer Review and Political Interference

Our science minister Gary Goodyear is getting involved with organization and funding of scientific conferences. Last week he asked the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to reconsider funding for an upcoming conference at York University. Specifically, he recommended conducting a “second peer review”. Here is an excerpt from his official statement:

It has come to my attention that following a recommendation of a peer review board earlier this year, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council provided $19,750 under its Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences Program to a conference at York University entitled “Israel/Palestine: mapping models of statehood and prospects for peace”.

2. The Canadian Association of University Teachers has called on Goodyear to step down:

“It’s unprecedented for a minister – let alone a minister from the department that funds the granting councils – to intervene personally with a granting council president to suggest that he review funding for an academic conference,” said CAUT executive director James Turk. “This kind of direct political interference in a funding decision made through an independent, peer-reviewed process is unacceptable and sets a very dangerous precedent.” (2)

3. Gary Goodyear and the Harper Government's Attack on Science

In her new book, The Armageddon Factor, Marci McDonald discusses the appointment of Gary Goodyear to the Science portfolio. Goodyear was an obscure backbencher who had dropped out of university and instead chose a career as a chiropractor. This doesn't mean that his chosen path was not in the scientific field. Far from it. However, McDonald suggests that Stephen Harper chose Goodyear in part to exact revenge on academics and climate scientists. After all, their demands stood in the way of big business.

But she also draws on the fact that Gary Goodyear is a devout Baptist who 'embraced a personal belief in creationism' and 'regarded evolution as a theory concocted by scheming humanists in academia to undercut the very foundations of Christian doctrine.'

4. MP's firm linked to adoption group

CAMBRIDGE, Ont. – A company owned by federal cabinet minister Gary Goodyear and his wife rented office space to an adoption agency that collapsed this week amid concerns about suspect expenses. Valerie Goodyear, co-owner with her husband of Constant Energy Inc., also worked for the agency – Kids Link International Adoption Agency – for several years before it went bankrupt ....

5. Bankrupt adoption agency lists Lexus among its assets

An Ontario company specializing in international adoptions that went into receivership this week lists two luxury vehicles, including a $50,000 Lexus, as
assets along with $500,000 in the bank, according to bankruptcy documents.

6. Adoption agency's bankruptcy devastates families

An agency that helps Canadians adopt children from Africa has filed for bankruptcy, creating an uncertain future for scores of children and financial
and emotional hardship for their prospective new parents. Kids Link International Adoption Agency made the announcement yesterday, shocking an estimated 200 families who are in.

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