Under revised Fisheries and Oceans Canada rules, scientists working in its central and Arctic region cannot be involved in publishing research until a DFO division administrator has reviewed it “for any concerns/impacts to DFO policy.”

That amounts to censoring scientific findings, says Jim Turk, Canadian Association of University Teachers executive director.

“The federal government wants to control what scientists do and what they find and how it’s reported. They want to suppress findings that can be seen as being against their political objectives,” Turk said.

A letter written to Harper Thursday on behalf of the 68,000 CAUT members expresses “deep dismay and anger at your government’s attack on the independence, integrity and academic freedom of scientific researchers.”

The latest changes run contrary to the spirit of free scientific inquiry and smack of political censorship, the letter says.

It is part of a pattern that has seen the Harper government reduce media access to scientists and cut funding and programs, Turk said.

University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver said the changes put DFO research reviews into the hands of Ottawa bureaucrats instead of scientists.