Peter Griffin, co-founder of Sciblogs and manager of the Science Media Centre, has a post (here) worth visiting on the topic of the Government’s science funding priorities.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce recently launched a document called the “Draft National Statement of Science Investment 2014 – 2024“.
The document covers issues such as the National Science Challenges, Callaghan Innovation, the Primary Growth Partnership, the Marsden Fund, the Centres of Research Excellence and business R&D grants.
These are all things the Government is currently doing, and which it will continue to use as tools for investment in the next decade. Some of them are also things I hear a lot of scientists grumbling about for various reasons.
Everyone seems to have a different idea about how best to leverage science dollars for the good of the country. For instance, at the launch event, one scientist told Joyce that if the Government wanted to make a real difference with its science investment it should double the size of the Marsden Fund which is funded to the tune of around $52 million a year. Joyce said that may well be true, but the case would have to be well made because it would require the funding being taken from some other area of science investment.
Griffin points out that the “draft” in the document title means that the strategy for the next decade isn’t yet set in stone and everyone has until August 22 to give feedback on it.
Next Wednesday he will be chairing a panel discussion in Wellington on the future of New Zealand science funding.
His fellow panellists are Professor Adam Jaffe, Director of Motu Economic & Public Policy Research, Wendy McGuinness, Founder & Chief Executive of the McGuiness Institute, and Dr Ian Ferguson, Departmental Science Advisor at the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries, with a joint appointment with Plant & Food Research.