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

 

R18: The Warehouse Group Praised For Removing Games

The decision by New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse Group (TW Group), to withdraw stocks of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and other R18 games, has been praised by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Air NZ Wine Awards: Victory For Villa Maria As Pinot Noir Thrills

It was a night to remember as Villa Maria Estate picked up one of the highest accolades of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, at the 28th Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough ... More>>

ALSO:

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Commerce: Supermarket Inquiry Finds No Breaches By Countdown

The Commerce Commission inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by Countdown supermarkets, alleged by former Labour Party MP Shane Jones, has found nothing to warrant prosecution, although it warns supermarkets to take care in the way they communicate... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Flags ‘Challenge’ To Budget Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning next month’s half yearly fiscal and economic update from the Treasury may not forecast a budget surplus, saying that returning the government’s accounts to surplus in 2015 will be “a challenge”, given the decline in commodity prices and weak global inflation. More>>

ALSO:

March 2015: Netflix To Launch In Australia And New Zealand

World’s Leading Internet Television Network to Offer Original Series, Movies, Documentaries, Stand-Up Comedy Specials and TV Shows for Low Monthly Price More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese (Is Up): Dairy Product Prices Fall To Five-Year Low

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction to the lowest level in more than five years, led by declines in rennet casein and skim milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news