Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Science Lost in CSIRO's Matrix

By Peter Pockley

Part 3 of this series documents some of the glaring omissions from a “warts and all” account of CSIRO.

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

Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series have reported how two senior executives – centrally involved in CSIRO’s massive reorganisation of the agency’s research structure and external communications from 2001 to 2006 – have scored an “own goal” in making false claims against the factual reports and independent commentaries published in Australasian Science. The claims are made in a book describing and justifying the changes.

In Icon in Crisis: The Reinvention of CSIRO (University of NSW Press, 2012) Dr Ron Sandland and Mr Graham Thompson maintain that their book is a “warts and all” account of the massive restructuring of Australia’s largest public agency for science. Given the internal and external controversies surrounding the changes, their claim invites a search for gaps in its content.

The authors were closely involved in these changes from 2001: Sandland was Deputy Chief Executive to Dr Geoff Garrett, who had arrived from South Africa as new Chief Executive in January 2001, and Thompson was a manager implementing Garrett’s “change agenda”. Both authors have now retired from CSIRO.

The book has value for...

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

© Peter Pockley (