Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


National Science Challenges under fire

National Science Challenges under fire

Almost 300 scientists from government science institutions, Universities and independent research organizations have condemned the way in which the Government’s National Science Challenges (NSCs) are being rolled out, and have
expressed scepticism for the potential of the Challenges to deliver benefit to New Zealand, in a recent poll run by the New Zealand Association of Scientists (NZAS). The results, published on the NZAS website, starkly contradict the recent statement by Minister Joyce that there are no problems with the NSC process. NZAS President, Dr Nicola Gaston says “the sad thing that we see from these responses is how disengaged scientists have become from the process. The good news, however, is that scientists in New Zealand feel a clear responsibility to ensure that taxpayers money is spent well, and they are prepared to speak up despite concerns that the new money being put into the Challenges could yet be taken away.”

”I was struck by the remarkable consistency of the responses, which provide broadly similar criticisms by involvement, age, or institution type of the respondent”, said Dr Gaston. “Many of the respondents were greatly concerned by the lack of transparency in the process and some had the perception that the NSCs had been captured by a small number of senior scientists”. A sample breakdown of the questions is appended.

The Government has proposed ten NSCs that will eventually assimilate about half of the total science investment by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Three challenges have already been launched, High Value Nutrition, Science for Society and today, Deep South. Problems have been indicated with many of the proposed challenges, but the lack of transparency of the process makes it hard to judge progress. Another key criticism by scientists is that new bureaucracies are being established to run each NSC, leading to an unacceptable growth in overheads across the science system.

The NZAS urges the Minister to take these concerns seriously, and launch an independent review of the entire NSC process, led by international science experts. This review should consider the opportunity cost of repurposing the allocated NSC funding into alternative existing science funding mechanisms within NZ such as the Marsden Fund, the Health Research Council, and the MBIE contestable round.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news