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Sex study award needs scrutiny

Sex study award needs scrutiny

The awarding of nearly $500,000 to a panelist on the prestigious Marsden Fund for a cultural history of sex that will include research into ‘the hustler, the modern orgasm’ and ‘the sexual culture of Auckland’ needs scrutiny, says National’s Science spokesman, Dr Paul Hutchison.

Of the $38 million Marsden Fund annual awards, $6 million has been awarded to nine members of the judging panel.

“The Marsden Fund awards, which are for basic research, are keenly sought after. Less than 10% of applications succeed,” says Dr Hutchison.

“If it’s true that the Marsden Fund processes are biased towards the panelists who make the awards, those processes need scrutiny.

“It is disturbing to think that under Labour and Science Minister Steve Maharey, a sociologist, research awards that are so hard to win in physics, chemistry and mathematics are going to what appear to be somewhat nebulous sex studies.”


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