Researchers working for the Canadian government have secured a clause in their contract that guarantees them the right to speak about their work and science with the public and the media without having to seek permission from their supervisors, ScienceInsider reports.
"Employees shall have the right to express themselves on science and their research, while respecting the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector," the clause says. ScienceInsider notes, though, that the ethics code does say that government employees should not publicly criticize government policy.
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, a union representing government scientists, has been working on getting this clause added to researchers' contracts since 2014 in response some of the restrictive policies of the previous government, ScienceInsider adds. Those policies, it says, left many researchers feeling "muzzled."
"This agreement was extremely important in order to ensure that Canadians could trust public science and the decisions that governments make with that science," Debi Daviau, the union president, says.