First, came the editorial of University of Ottawa Physicist, Béla Joós in last July’s issue of “Physics in Canada”. There, he zeroed in on the heart of the matter, which if you think about it, is mind boggling: “Over the last two years, the Discovery Grant Program (DGP) has been changing, not only the way in which grants are allocated but also in its mission statement.” How could this cataclysmic shift happen under the very nose of Canada’s scientific community and who is responsible for it? In his extremely lucid editorial (the best analysis I’ve seen so far on the issue), he declares, “it is time to rise to the defence of the DGP.” Today, the following open letter to NSERC’s President Suzanne Fortier, by a group of prominent physicists and astronomers, also appeared in the journal “Physics in Canada”. Most of the signatories are past chairs of Grant selection committees, and all are well versed in the complexities of grant selection procedures in Canada and elsewhere. When a “system produces a decline in both fairness and trust”, all decent and serious scientists in the country feel it simultaneously. You are not alone!
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