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

 

Do Emerging Scientists Have a Future in New Zealand?

The New Zealand Association of Scientists (Inc.)
P.O. Box 1874
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

16 April 2012

Do Emerging Scientists Have a Future in New Zealand?

The New Zealand Association of Scientists (NZAS) is hosting
a one-day conference today, Monday 16 April, to address the question “Do emerging scientists have a future in New Zealand?”. More details are at http://www.scientists.org.nz/event/2012/2012-nzas-conference.

NZAS President, Professor Shaun Hendy, said in his opening address: “A fiscally neutral response to the issues faced by emerging scientists cannot be credible. According to the OECD, New Zealand’s R&D spending per researcher lies between that of Poland and the Slovak Republic. We desperately need to lift the resources available to our scientists, particularly those in the private sector. New Zealand must take advantage of our highly skilled young people by creating new high technology businesses and redoubling our R&D efforts in existing firms.” Both the Honourable David Carter, Minister for Primary Industries and Minister of Local Government, and David Shearer, Leader of the Labour Party and that party’s Spokesperson for Science and Innovation, referred to the open letter sent to the government last year to protest the cutting of postdoctoral research fellowships.

David Carter, speaking on behalf of the Honourable Steven Joyce, spoke about the value that the government places on the economic value of innovation: “We need to make sure the funding system does not inadvertently discourage the inclusion of postdoctoral fellows." He also stated that there were too many components of the new superministry for the word “science” to be part of the ministry name, given the government's focus on innovation. “Science is an important part of innovation, from dairy to digital”.

David Shearer also acknowledged the importance of fellowships to career pathways for emerging scientists. “In 2010 the government made the decision to cut the FRST postdoctoral fellowships. It has gutted our ability to move on from the doctorate into advanced research. If you want to farewell our best and brightest at the airport, it's probably the best way to do that.”

Dr Melanie Massaro, author of the open letter, criticised the funding systems that reward universities for training PhDs but discourage the employment of Postdocs. After outlining the struggle to cross the postdoctoral void to full employment, Dr Massaro compared postdoctoral fellowships to helicopters that carry PhD researchers over the void, to a position where they are able to compete with the overseas trained scientists arriving on the international jumbo jet. “We need more helicopters and we need them urgently”.

The one-day conference is being held at Rutherford House in Wellington. New Zealand Association of Scientists (www.scientists.org.nz) is a nationwide association of practising research scientists spanning the universities, technical institutes, Crown Research Institutes, government departments, industry, museums, other science institutions, and independent researchers.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Waste: Government To Regulate Plastic Packaging, Tyres, E-Waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, ... More>>

ALSO:

Bankers Association: Banking Becomes First Living Wage Accredited Industry

Banking has become New Zealand’s first fully living wage accredited industry, leading to nearly 1800 employees and contractors moving onto the living wage and gaining greater economic independence for them and their families. As of today, all ... More>>

ALSO:


QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: Mixed Performance By Regions Leaves National Emissions Picture Unchanged

Approximately two-thirds of New Zealand’s regions recorded decreases in their total greenhouse gas emissions, while one-third of regions saw increases between 2007 and 2018, Stats NZ said today. “While some regions reduced their emissions, ... More>>