Australian news, and some related international items

Corporate influence over University in the uranium province of Saskatchewan

antnuke-relevantit is essential that opposition to the university’s role in nuclear development extend to the wider community. 

Follow the yellowcake road  Nuclear power, tarsands extraction, and the co-option of the University of Saskatchewan Briar Patch magazine, BY D’ARCY HANDE • FEB 28, 2012  In 2011 the University of Saskatchewan went truly nuclear, realizing, in many respects, the loftiest ambitions of the uranium industry and its supporters within the provincial government and the university. On October 14, 2011, the University of Saskatchewan board of governors formally approved the incorporation of the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (CCNI) “to stimulate new research, development and training in advanced aspects of nuclear science and technology.”………..

Equally disturbing is the pervasive climate of corporatism that has crept over the University of Saskatchewan in the past two decades. Most academics dare not question or criticize the influence of the nuclear industry on campus. The rigorous discourse normally associated with academia is all but absent in this debate; the pall of corporate influence has nearly extinguished discussion and dissent.

Instead, the administration has mounted an aggressive campaign to discredit those who speak out. As an example, when concerns were raised about Nancy Hopkins’ apparent conflict of interest – serving both as a director of Cameco and the chair of the U of S board of governors – they were indignantly dismissed by both administration and board. Hopkins also chaired the search committee for the new university president, Ilene Busch-Vishniac, who will take office in July 2012. Many fear that it will be business as usual under the new president, given her record at McMaster University where she most recently served as provost.

The university administration is complicit, the faculty and staff are largely acquiescent, and the vast majority of students appear to be oblivious to the dangers of encroaching corporate influence. It has been left to a few faculty and students and a minority of university senators to raise the alarm about the murky undercurrents. The prospect of nuclear development in Saskatchewan obviously has broader social implications, too. With the provincial and federal governments and the university so invested in advancing this agenda, how can the public trust that unbiased environmental impact studies and rigorous monitoring of health and safety standards will be conducted in the interests of the public good?

In light of these alarming trends, it is essential that opposition to the university’s role in nuclear development extend to the wider community. Ordinary citizens have the responsibility to demand that democratic processes be followed and that open academic debate be revitalized and restored in the interests of good governance, public health and safety, university autonomy, and scholarly independence………..

September 5, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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