“NO SCIENCE IS IMMUNE TO THE INFECTION OF POLITICS AND THE CORRUPTION OF POWER.” – JACOB BRONOWSKI
2016 is a year of many political shifts. In Canada, we welcomed a new government who has pledged “sunny ways” and promised to increase investment into science and technology. South of the border, the tête-à-tête is between two candidates who are worlds apart on just about everything, while researchers in the UK are concerned about grant eligibility after Britain’s referendum to leave the European Union. As the British mathematician and biologist Jacob Bronowski eluded, science exists in the grand context of the social and political landscape. Money and influence ultimately will determine what, where, and how research is conducted, especially in today’s difficult funding climate.
In this issue of IMMpress Magazine, we explore the influence of power and politics on research and health care both globally and domestically. On the global front, we address how political influence from affluent western nations has affected the control of diseases (pgs. 8 & 11) in low-income, resource-poor countries. Closer to home, we highlight some of the recent changes to research funding ushered in by the new Liberal government (pg. 29) and we investigate the barriers to conducting clinical trials in Canada (pg. 20). Finally, we turn to industry and discuss the importance of scientific integrity by way of two companies, Theranos (pg. 14) and Santa Cruz Biotech (pg. 19), both of which are struggling to stay afloat after serious allegations of malpractice.
Lastly, we would like to welcome in our new Co-Editor-in-Chief Angela Zhou, who has been a steadfast contributor to the magazine for the past year, and to thank all of our dedicated writers, editors and designers for their hard work on this issue.