Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

What about science in the Commission of Audit report?

By Rod Lamberts and Will J Grant

The federal government’s Commission of Audit treats science, research and education as expenses to be trimmed rather than investments to be nurtured.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The message from the federal government’s Commission of Audit is loud and clear: science, research and education are expenses to be trimmed rather than investments to be nurtured.

Yes, there are few big surprises for such sectors in the recommendations in the report. But not being surprised is not the same as being pleased.

And even though the hand picked commissioners might be directly channelling Abbott government thinking, perhaps we can still hope that the government will not act on the recommendations.

In theory the Audit acts as a relatively safe way of running ideas up the flag poll to see who salutes, rather than a commitment by government to act.

So in that spirit, we scanned the phase one recommendations relating to science to see if any of those salutes should be done with the middle finger.

The good and the bad

There are a number of recommendations in here that should be given such a salute: they are not only dangerous for those in the higher education and research sectors, but dangerous for society as a whole.

Recommendation 34 focuses on government...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.