Articles on Science funding

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Monitoring penguins by an automated camera set up by the Australian Antarctic Division at Whitney Point near Casey station. Australian Antarctic Division/Colin Southwell

Is Australia’s claim to Antarctica at risk?

While Australia’s commitment to a 20-year plan for Antarctica has been welcomed by some it has also raised concerns over the nation’s ability to fulfil a credible research role in the south polar region…
Expanding protected areas to safeguard the unique biodiversity, such as these emperor penguins, is just part of the Australian research role in Antarctica. Australian Antarctic Division

Private funding could help Australia’s role in the Antarctic

The Australian government’s blueprint for the Antarctic is due out soon. Given the recent cuts in public funding for science, what hope is there for any extra monies for the polar region. And what should…
Research funding will continue to be haphazard if an anecdotal approach continues to be taken. Lisa S/www.shutterstock.com

How to better allocate research money and fix a flawed system

Taxpayers want to know that their money is well spent on research. Yet funding agencies persist in trying to explain research results in terms of papers and publications rather than in terms of people…
How do we know if we’re getting value for money on research funding? Flickr/Régis Matthey

Let’s spend more wisely on research in Australia

Australia allocates around A$9 billion a year of taxpayers’ money for research, but how do we know if that money is being spent wisely? With the Australian Government threatening to reduce the amount of…

On the costs of mega-science projects

Today I awoke to the news that Germany has announced its intention to withdraw from the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. The SKA is an ambitious project that plans to build a radio telescope with…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the day his government handed down its first Budget. AAP/Lukas Coch

Judgement day for Abbott on science and research funding

When the freshly-minted Prime Minister Tony Abbott declined for the first time since 1931 to appoint a science minister as part of his Cabinet in September last year, he did so having made an election…
While funding medical research has been given a boost, other facets of science such as astronomy face deep cuts. AAP/Paul Miller

Budget 2014: there’s more to science than medical research

It’s hard to ignore the irony. The 2014 federal budget will “better target innovation and research funding to areas of national and strategic priority” but funding cuts of more than A$111 million to CSIRO…
Treasurer Joe Hockey and finance minister Mathias Cormann face a difficult sell for the Abbott government’s tough first budget. AAP/Alan Porritt

Federal budget 2014: political experts react

The Abbott government is hoping an A$11.6 billion infrastructure spending package, combined with a $20 billion medical research fund, will help soften the blow of widespread tightening of health and welfare…
Fundamental, wide-ranging and curious research is the basis of a country’s development. Cuts to CSIRO won’t help. CarbonNYC/Flickr

Australia needs fundamental research to build a great country

Like many scientists, I was apprehensive in advance about the Abbott government’s approach to science policy. Would it be pragmatic but fact-based or would it be ideological and politically driven? Sadly…
Cameron bonding with Barroso would make scientists happy. Dominic Lipinski/PA

Britain should stay in the EU … for science

At a time of much business debate around whether the UK should remain in the European Union (EU), there is one critical area being overlooked regarding the relationship – science. With a growing appreciation…
Bad science is easy to spot; but can we tell which proposals are winners? an untrained eye

What is good science? And what gets public funding?

I’ve heard that we should stop talking about “pure” science and “applied” science; that we should only be talking about “good” science and “bad” science. Last year, CSIRO Chief Executive Megan Clark said…

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