Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cutting at NRC & CISTI

The Ottawa Citizen reports that the the NRC is cutting up to 300 jobs. NRC is Canada's acclaimed National Research Council. The cuts will affect its very important library and its publishing arm will be privatized:
...the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI), the country’s national science library and a leading publisher of scientific information, is to be streamlined into a smaller unit. The Research Press, the publishing arm of CISTI, could be turned into a private company.
It's too bad when things that the government has done so well for so long get cut and privatized. The NRC has been a good advocate for research, innovation and access to STM knowledge.

Rumours of the eventual privatization of the CBC - another producer of intellectual property that the private sector cannot or will not do nearly nearly as well - are becoming more and more credible.

Certain areas of research and culture are "public goods" and "public services." There are many things in government that could be more efficient. Cutting public goods and services and handing them over to private interests should be a last resort - especially when important STM and cultural IP are involved.


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