An opinion piece by the Dominion Post’s Colin James in which he examines the recent attitudes and behaviour of the New Zealand government – and various members thereof – towards research, science and technology. He also looks at the impact being made by Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the PM’s Chief Science Advisor.
An excerpt: (read in full here)
“John Key was going to be science minister but diverted down a cycleway to tourism.
“He is now retracing his steps. Innovation is a central driver of productivity growth. But it was not one of Bill English’s four “areas” of “initiatives to lift productivity” in his Budget in May. Overall spending on science went down.
“Recent speeches by Mr Key and Mr English have included innovation. Mr Key is now quietly reaffirming the importance of research, science and technology.
“Reluctant RST minister Wayne Mapp declared this month that “RST will be expected to play a bigger part in improving our economic performance”. A small National backbench science committee has formed.
“And Sir Peter Gluckman is settled in to his part-time post as Mr Key’s personal and official chief scientific adviser, a post Mr Key first mooted to him last year.”