NZ Herald editorial: Salinger sacking a step too far

From the editorial pages of the Weekend Herald (May 9)

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“…The Association of Scientists has said “scientific research and corporate models operating under commercial imperatives have been unhappy bedfellows since the science reforms in the early 1990s”. Comparisons have also been drawn with universities, whose staff are not only encouraged to speak freely but have a duty to the community to do so.

“There is no reason the same approach should not apply at crown research institutes for the vast majority of the time. Commercial imperatives and freedom of speech are not so inimical that media minders need to rule on every public utterance, even the routine. The media, for their part, should have the right to speak to the scientist of their choice, not a dull, uninteresting voice put forward by an institute’s PR department.

“Clearly, matters have gone too far when scientists speak of fleeing institutes because of the draconian rules. And they have gone way too far when a scientist who is, arguably, Niwa’s top asset is dismissed for what, according to the institute itself, is a matter of the utmost triviality.”