Scientists shocked after Harper government assigns IT staff to monitor ozone data

http://www.canada.com/technology/Scientists+shocked+after+Harper+go...

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7 comments

Psac Bc
it's clear Harper wants to replace science with personal and political ideology...wake up people, simply foolish.
Reply · 3 · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

Philip Neves · Burnaby, British Columbia
So basically what I got from this article is that computer experts don't have a scientific background. That's what I just got from this article. So the dozens of math courses we have to take before we get our credentials are for what? To make stuff up? An IT person is the perfect type of individual to analyse the data. Of course these so called scientists must be hiding something that's why they don't want the scrutiny that this type of person will bring to the job.
Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago

Rob Miller · Vancouver, British Columbia
From your comments I have to assume you are not a scientist; you are an applied technician or technologist. Math courses don't have a lot to do with science. Data analysis requires critical thinking skills. Engineers aren't scientists either.
Reply · 5 · Like · 14 hours ago

Philip Neves · Burnaby, British Columbia
Its called an applied science and it is a real science. And engineers have to take even more math courses. And BTW... engineers and computer technicians take the same math and physics courses those so called scientists have to take. They usually have to get a better grade in them too because getting into those programs are so difficult.
Reply · 1 · Like · 14 hours ago

Jim Jones · Vancouver, British Columbia
As a Software Developer and broad-based "IT guy" myself, I would never call myself a scientist. I employ applied science techniques and occasionally create new ones. Our job is to design, program and implement software / hardware that serves a need. Or maybe install, configure and maintain databases, software packages, etc. While we do interpret and analyze data and look for patterns, it is mostly for data manipulation and data warehousing purposes we do that. Interpretation of the actual data, whether environmental, financial, sports scores, etc. is left to subject matter experts in those fields.
Reply · 12 · Like · 14 hours ago
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Marilyn Maxwell · Subscribe
They have two young women flying in by hellicopter, with a tape measure and a laptop going around calculating each morning in the Artic. Starry Eyed and honoured. Scientific NOT!
Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 12 hours ago

Walley Bowkowy ·  Top Commenter
Harper has done good work and not just letting time go by.
Reply · Like · Follow Post · 4 hours ago

Garnet Roy · Corespondance american school chicago
It seems that some things that don't make money for the very few ( fat cats) it is distroyed and restructured,
come on CANADA these scientist cant be all wrong.
Reply · Like · Follow Post · 18 hours ago

Kirstin Morrell · Calgary, Alberta
Okay, I'm confused. Is the position a scientific research position or a management position? These are not the same skill set.

Many management jobs in engineering, for instance, require the managers to themselves be engineers. Look at how well that's worked out. You have projects with no oversight, foresight, or analysis being led by people who lack the ability to allocate human resources or even the ability to write a comprehensible report on the projects they are leading. These people could be the world's best engineers, but engineering is a different skill set from management.

But no one seems to respect management as a skill set. That's one of the reasons, in my opinion, that so many projects in all sectors at all levels are being run so poorly. No one respects the importance of good management.

Now, I'm not a manager and I would never want to be one, but by golly I sure do like working for someone who really knows how to run things efficiently and with the skill to get us the best outcomes.
Reply · Like · Follow Post · 4 minutes ago

Daniel Tinguely · Winnipeg, Manitoba
Not sure if this is another attempt at scientific censorship or not. An IT specialist could find ways to manage the data in a more efficient and ingenious way. Its basically their job to find the laziest way to monitor data. But generally the formulas and scientific interpretations that are used in software are acquired from experts in the field. If they have the IT guy acquire the data I think its fine, so long as there is a scientist hired as a consultant, or on the team that can look over the data and formulas used.

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The relevant part for me was

...they were shocked to learn about the budget cuts and staffing changes made by the Harper government.

The scientists said the monitoring was previously done with oversight from atmospheric experts who have been reassigned or have retired. But now, they say that the person in charge is the wrong type of expert.

“He’s an IT person,” said Mark Weber, an atmospheric scientist from Germany’s University of Bremen. “This is not just an IT problem. I think the person (assigned to manage the data) basically is not sufficiently qualified for doing such a job because he needs to have a much stronger scientific background.” [emphasis mine]

This reminds me of the movie The China Syndrome, where budget constraints lead the nuclear power company to put janitors in charge of changing radiation mask filters.

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