Evidence For Democracy

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Evidence for Democracy (E4D) is a non-partisan Canadian non-profit organization which advocates for evidence-based policy-making in the government. It was co-founded by Katie Gibbs (Executive Director) and Scott Findlay in 2012.[1][2][3]


In July 2012, prior to forming E4D, Katie Gibbs was one of the organizers for the Death of Evidence protest in Ottawa.[2][4][5] Over 2,000 scientists and supporters attended the protest, which was in the form of a mock funeral, to protest then Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government funding cuts to basic science research and in response to Bill C-38.[2][4][5][6][7] The protest's success prompted Gibbs to co-found E4D.[1][2][8]


E4D advocates for evidence-based policy-making and to build a national culture where science and evidence are valued.[1][9] E4D primarily launches issue-based campaigns to address current issues which affect science, alongside panels, lectures, workshops and documentary screenings, to provide knowledge and skill-based training to the scientific community, as well as the broader public.[1]

Notable campaigns[edit]

On 16 September 2013, E4D collaborated with local organizers to hold Stand Up for Science protests in 17 cities (including Toronto and Vancouver), to voice concerns for the state of science in Canada.[10][11][12][13][14] Previous science advocacy, coupled with the Stand Up for Science protests across Canada, helped place science as a key campaign issue in the 2015 Canadian federal elections.[8][15]

In March 2016, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and E4D submitted an open letter with over 5,000 Canadians signatures, to the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister Navdeep Bains, and Minister Kirsty Duncan, to safeguard government scientists' right to speak through collective agreements.[16][17][18] In July 2018, following lobbying, the Canadian federal government introduced guidelines for scientific integrity.[19][17][20][21][22]

In September 2017, E4D launched a petition, on behalf of the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), to advocate for funding for PEARL's research into Canadian atmospheric climate science.[23][24][25] As a result of this petition and lobbying from others, the Canadian government allocated $1.6-million to allow PEARL's continued operation until fall of 2019.[23][24][25] E4D is currently campaigning for long-term PEARL funding, and to re-introduce funding for the six Canadian climate science projects (members of the Climate Change and Atmospheric Research program) which lost their funding.[23][26][27]

Throughout 2018, E4D collaborated with local organizers to host the March for Science in 10 Canadian cities (St. John’s, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, Winnipeg, Regina, Vancouver and Victoria) on Saturday 14th April 2018.[28][29][30][31] In mid-2018, E4D partnered with others to launch a campaign to return environmental and natural resource decision-making to public interest, advocating for the public to contact their representative and the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy.[1][32] This campaign aims to address the British Columbia government's professional reliance system.[1][32]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Evidence For Democracy". Evidence For Democracy. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  2. ^ a b c d "Dr. Katie Gibbs: Scientists call for evidence based decisions by governments". The Vancouver Observer. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  3. ^ "Scientist urges straight talk on research ahead of federal vote". Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Teresa (2012-07-09). "Scientists stage mock funeral to protest cuts to research". Canada.com. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  5. ^ a b "Scientists rally on Parliament Hill to mourn 'death of evidence' | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  6. ^ "A rough guide to Bill C-38 - Macleans.ca". Macleans.ca. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  7. ^ "Scientists march to Parliament Hill to protest 'death of evidence'". Global News. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  8. ^ a b Zhang, Sarah (2017-01-26). "Looking Back at Canada's Political Fight Over Science". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-08-25.
  9. ^ "An Interview with Dr. Katie Gibbs". In-Sight Publishing. 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  10. ^ "When scientists become activists | University Affairs". University Affairs. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  11. ^ "Scientists push campaign for evidence-based decision making from government". Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  12. ^ "Scientists stand up across Canada | Fédération des sciences humaines". www.idees-ideas.ca (in French). Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  13. ^ "Stop stifling science, protesters tell Ottawa | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  14. ^ "Stand Up for Science!". Evidence For Democracy. 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  15. ^ "Canada's complicated history with scientific freedom". Global News. Retrieved 2018-08-25.
  16. ^ "Science integrity enshrined in collective agreements" (PDF). Evidence For Democracry.
  17. ^ a b "Success! Science integrity enshrined in collective agreements". Evidence For Democracy. 2016-12-12. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  18. ^ "Trudeau government has more to do to combat Harper-era muzzling of scientists: report". Global News. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  19. ^ Russell, Erin (2015-10-20). "We deserve a government that respects scientific integrity". CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal. 187 (15): 1107. doi:10.1503/cmaj.151006. ISSN 0820-3946. PMC 4610828. PMID 26391718.
  20. ^ "Ottawa unveils integrity rules to shield scientists from interference". Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  21. ^ "Canada moves to protect its federal scientists from political interference". National Observer. 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  22. ^ "Canadian scientists welcome new research integrity policy". Chemistry World. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  23. ^ a b c "Save PEARL". Evidence For Democracy. 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  24. ^ a b "Liberals struggling to reverse Harper's cuts to climate science". National Observer. 2017-09-05. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  25. ^ a b "Arctic climate research lab granted federal funding in late reprieve". The Globe and Mail. 2017-11-08. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  26. ^ "There's a 'crisis looming' for Canadian climate research, scientists warn". National Observer. 2018-01-22. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  27. ^ Kassam, Ashifa (2018-01-22). "Canadian climate science faces crisis that may be felt globally, scientists warn". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  28. ^ "Science busking in the ByWard Market this Saturday". Ottawa Citizen. 2018-04-13. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  29. ^ "March for Science returns for a second year". ScienceBorealis.ca Blog. 2018-04-17. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  30. ^ "March for Science Toronto". March for Science Toronto. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  31. ^ "Ottawa March for Science promotes and opens up evidence-based dialogue to the public – Apt613". apt613.ca. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  32. ^ a b "B.C.'s big opportunity to fix under-regulated industry is here (and you've probably never heard of it) | The Narwhal". The Narwhal. Retrieved 2018-08-24.