Military Research and Canadian Universities

The military focus of scientific research is not a new phenomenon, as we have witnessed for centuries, most notably during World War II and the decades after. The military policy of a nation continues to influence scientific research in industry, and more significantly, at the universities.

The involvement of American universities with the military is well documented. While it is suspected that the involvement of Canadian universities has been just as persistent and prevalent, substantiating evidence has been scarce. In order to determine how we, as academic scientific researchers, may have been inadvertently assisting in military pursuits, Science for Peace has embarked on a project to examine the involvement of Canadian universities in military research, starting with the University of Toronto.

According to the Canadian Military Industry Database Report, most major Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto, have received funding from various American military agencies (e.g. US Navy, US Air Force, US Strategic Defense Initiative). The identities of the laboratories and the nature of the projects which were funded remain to be investigated.

Funds from the American military agencies can be administered indirectly through Canadian military agencies such as Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and the Department of National Defence.

Remarkably, it is explicitly stated in the annual report 2000-2001 of DRDC that it has formed a “strategic alliance” with the National Research Council, the National Science and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to fund health research ( c_e.html). As these represent threemajor funding agencies in Canadian universities, the implication is significant. What sort of research does this military alliance fund? For what purposes? And ultimately, should it be stopped or controlled? If so, how?

These questions are particularly pressing in the current post 9/11 climate of militaristic exuberance. If anyone is interested in joining me in this project, please contact