back to article Australia dumbs down: Chief Scientist says research performance lags the world

Australia likes to flatter itself that it's good at sciences: the nation's scientists did, after all, invent WiFi and lots of other useful stuff. But when the nation looks in the mirror it should be honest and and admit it's wasting away, says a new report from the nation's Chief Scientist. In a report presented to the …

  1. Tim Roberts 1


    ..... and that's exactly why we should be cutting funding to the CSIRO - they are obviously wasting it on coffee and biscuits and not doing any real science......

    (Thanks Tony Abbot - NOT)

  2. Scoular

    Could it be that big business knows that science is crap as a matter of political dogma?

    If they have that attitude then clearly it would be a waste to spend money on it.

  3. BlackKnight(markb)

    We should bring it to the science minister!

    Oh wait ....

  4. Martin Budden

    So basically, more...

    [Citation needed] ?

  5. ocratato

    Too many multinationals

    While we had good government (CSIRO) and university researchers until this government started to gut them the real problem has been at the business level where fundamental research is turned into products.

    I think that as soon as an Australian company gets close to the size where it can afford to invest in R&D it is bought up by some overseas company that is only interested in doing R&D at its head office.

  6. d2

    just as well...

    [ just like the FDA, which is a mouthpiece for big pHarma]

    EPA Barred From Getting Advice From Scientists

    November 22, 2014 | by Stephen Luntz

    Under a bill that has passed the US House,

    the people best qualified to say whether a chemical is dangerous will not be allowed to do so

    A bill passed through the US House of Representatives is designed to prevent qualified, independent scientists from advising the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They will be replaced with industry affiliated choices, who may or may not have relevant scientific expertise, but whose paychecks benefit from telling the EPA what their employers want to hear...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I would be wary of counting citations as a measure of accomplishments. That could easily be a matter of taste and or prejudice at work. Careful analysis would be required to make such numbers useful.

    1. AndyDent

      Re: Citations?

      Except, AFAIK, academics are still largely measured by citations as a quality measure of their publications.

      It may be the science equivalent of Lines of Code for programs but it's still a visible and easy metric.

      So poor citation levels ARE a real cause for concern in a climate of change where your job is evaporating and local prospects thinning.

  8. Gartal

    What do you expect?

    when you have







    Killing off the Science and Technology portfolio, ignoring the advise of anyone other than his bum chums in the Chamber of Commerce etc. He and his rotten cohort, the partially decomposed, fairly whiffy zombie remnants of John Howards POWOC (Pile Of Wobbly Old Crap) government simply have no grasp of the modern world and the position of Science in relation to Technology or that Science and Technology are even a part of our modern world. Jeez, the only people as dumb as this group is the Chinese leadership and bureaucracy for the last 4,000 years.

    We were offered a chunk of that telescope in Chile (or Peru) for a paltry $100M and it was turned down. We had to hold raffles to get the bloody Synchrotron finished. The CSIRO is having its intestine from the duodenum to the anus removed along with the pituitary gland and that small brown somewhat disgusting looking thing which is responsible for the development of the opposable thumb. The level of testicular anaesthesia amongst this group of toilet skid marks is astounding. The sooner they are flayed with a maggoty cat and then shot, burned and pissed on the better.

    Sorry, a touch of the spleen.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

      Re: What do you expect?

      Killing off the Science and Technology portfolio...

      I nominate this for QotW! Twice! An especially nice stroke was the closing understatement. Have one on me, Gartal.

  9. RobHib

    Tragic really... - Mañana, mañana!

    It's a tragedy what's happened to Australian science since the 1960s when I was in high school. Back then, even non technical people and the scientifically illiterate understood that strong science was absolutely essential for both the nation's prosperity and its future.

    What's happened in Australia since the '60s is that the perception of science in the mind of the public has fallen dramatically, science today no longer has the status and influence it once had.

    I've waxed angrily on the reason for this previously which I won't repeat here. Suffice to say that a country where science understanding amongst politicians is anathema then clearly science will end up on the back foot.

    Remember, there's almost no politicians with a background in science in Australia but we've hundreds of lawyers and accountants, so it's obvious science won't be Australia's forte. Now compare this with China where every member of the ruling politburo has either some background in science or engineering.

    When it comes to science, Australia's a tragic joke wearing rose-tinted glasses. Nothing will change until it's too late.

    Mañana, mañana!

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