Agri – Culture: What is the role of social sciences and humanities in science?
August 2016, almost a full year into the new term of a new government, and Harper’s war on science still goes on. One of the last remaining fronts is the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa; founded in 1886, and one of the longest running agricultural research facilities in the world. In 2014 MP John Baird announced that 60 acres of land from the Central Experimental Farm would be leased to the Ottawa Hospital for $1 to build a new hospital campus, and the give-away was done without consultation, assessment or consideration given to the research being undertaken on the site. The land given away includes Field No. 1, one of the oldest continuously monitored agricultural sites in the world, and the site of a 26-year ongoing study on crops and soil cited in the IPCC reports.
On Tuesday August 16th at 7pm, join us upstairs at the Canal Royal Oak where Peter Anderson, a historical and cultural geographer of science, will discuss how his research on the history of Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm relates to ongoing efforts to protect and expand Agriculture Canada’s scientific capacity at the Farm.
An active member of the Coalition to Protect the Farm, Pete places the research at the farm in its historic and cultural context, arguing for the importance of continuing research at the Farm by highlighting past successes. He also applies the lessons of environmental history and science & technologies studies to support agricultural science against the lingering effects of the last decade’s science wars, emphasizing the importance of basic and applied government research in a time of changing climates.