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Librarian blogs 'long, unexaggerated, devastating' cuts to Canadian science

Three weeks ago, York University librarian John Dupuis posted a story in "Confessions of a Science Librarian," his personal blog, which aimed to show what he called the Conservative government's "campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making."

The post exploded with 40,000 page views, more than 9,000 recommendations on Facebook, and more than a thousand tweets.

The blog post, titled "The Canadian War on Science: A Long, Unexaggerated, Devastating Chronological Indictment," is, according to the author, "a chronology of all the various cuts, insults, muzzlings and cancellations that I've been able to dig up." It links to more than 100 news stories about scientific programs the Conservatives have discontinued or stopped funding since 2006.

Dupuis says the post has been a collaborative effort. He originally included around 70 links, but after it went live he began receiving comments and emails with links to other stories. He updated the post to include around 30 new links. Now, he's working on a new update with further links, to be posted in a week or so.

Last May's post is not the librarian's first about the federal Conservatives shutting down science-related programs, but it's certainly his most popular ever.

"I was expecting the post to be somewhat more popular than the average post," he said. "It ended up being about 10 times more popular than my previous biggest post, and it's probably 100 times more popular than an average post."

Dupuis has two theories regarding why his post ended up being so successful.

"There's a lot of people out there that either didn't know the extent to which the Conservative government has its eye on science, or there's a lot of people that already did and said: 'Now we have it all in a list,'" he said.

Carlos Tello is completing a practicum at The Tyee.

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