Adequate, shmadequate

Re: “Research policy still in flux” | News | February 11

I would like to make a correction to the article “Research policy still in flux.”

The fourth paragraph in the article said, “There was a general consensus among the administration and senators that the new policy adequately addresses the problems that arose when the first draft was brought to Senate in November.”

In fact, the consensus was that there were improvements in the policy, but it still does not adequately address the problems that arose.

The largest issue senators had with the first draft presented in November was that it had removed the regulation, which requires that “[a]pplicants for contracts or grants whose source is a government military agency shall indicate on the check list/approval form of the Office of Technology Transfer or the Research Grants Office whether this research has direct harmful consequences.”

The McGill administration and Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) Denis Thérien’s team obviously tried to brush these concerns aside by including them ever so vaguely and briefly in the preamble.

According to Darin Barney, Faculty of Arts senator and professor in the department of art history and communications studies, there is a lot of “interpretative latitude and flexibility” in preamble language. This implies that there is a gaping loophole in the new policy that will allow research funded by the military, pharmaceutical companies, and the asbestos mining industry, among other private corporations, to slip by and have a detrimental and devastating impact on global and societal wellbeing.

Instead of adequately addressing our concerns, the new policy is adequately showing the administration’s lack of concern.

Stephanie Law
MSc Epidemiology II