Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Democracy vs Science

By Simon Grose

The people have spoken – and given science a backhander.

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

There’s a lot of smart people involved in science in Australia. Shame there were none smart enough to game the Senate voting system and get a scientist’s bum on a red leather seat in Canberra.

The Research Australia Party (RAP), Science Australia Party (SAP), and Australians for Intelligent Government (I give AFIG) were just some of the catchy options. Too late now. After a bunch of opportunistic little parties scored a Senate seat, the voting system will be changed to make it much harder next time.

Worse, a browse through the manifestos of these parties reveals minimal regard for science in general, and negative regard for climate science in particular.

The closest the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party gets to a science policy is its one-sentence environment policy: “We support a balanced approach towards sustainability of the environment and the use of the environment, both for the survival of mankind and for the unimpeded recreational use of the environment”.

The Australian Sports Party doesn’t have policies, but it has a “philosophy to ensure simplicity for Australians by providing free sports and exercise areas that encourage participation”.

Family First has had Senator Steve Fielding in Canberra for 6 years. They reject carbon pricing “without first having a proper, independent enquiry eg a Royal Commission, which was prepared...

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