No Funding Means No Future

Some of Canada's top researchers explain why public funding is so important to the future of scientific discoveries in our country.

 |  Transcript [PDF]

The results of the US presidential election earlier this month left many researchers stunned. With a president that has questioned the reality of climate change and derided NASA, the implications for science funding could be severe. And, as these Canadian researchers will tell you, public funding is key to scientific discovery and advancement.

Rachel Tyndale
Addiction Biologist, University of Toronto
Without public funding, we don’t move at all. The funding is a key component to the speed with which we can make change. You know, we just can’t do without it.

Jillian Buriak
Nanomaterials Chemist, University of Alberta
The first reason is the people that we train. So all these students and postdocs, they take that learning into so many different areas. They take that scientific literacy and can really help industry.

Peter Zandstra
Stem Cell Bioengineer, University of Toronto
Regenerative medicine is a strength of Canada and a lot of that happens because of the investment the government has put in, in basic research for over twenty years.

Lara Boyd
Stroke Researcher, University of British Columbia
We want to see big changes. It’s going to come from publicly funded science. Driving basic discoveries into you know, more advanced models and eventually out into consumers and out into the healthcare system.

Amr Helmy
Quantum Photonics Engineer, University of Toronto
So without funding, without critical mass of resources, we are either not pursuing these ideas or even worse, which is very commonplace right now, pursuing them with sub-critical mass funding.

Deborah Cowen
Social Justice Geographer, University of Toronto
We’re in a climate where scholars are increasingly encouraged to get funding from private sources. But for many of the most important questions we have, it’s a kind of public interest that’s at stake. Their importance is not defined by whether they’re immediately relevant to the private sector.

Sally Otto
Evolutionary Biologist, University of British Columbia
If we don’t have the public funding, we don’t have that foundation. And so I think that the links all the way will crumble without the foundation of basic research.

We’ll just have to wait until next year to see how the situation unfolds for our southern neighbours.

See what other Canadian researchers have to say about public funding:
Public Funding for the Future
Public Funding for Positive Change
Vital Public Funding Pushes Research Toward Innovation