Sir Peter Gluckman on science funding and peer review

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman has today released a discussion paper Which science to fund: time to review peer review?

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman

The paper arrives as both New Zealand and Australia consider their priorities for public science funding and while it doesn’t focus on the subject, it deals with the “more complex and sensitive issue of how funding should be allocated within a contestable system”.

“It is not my intent to suggest any particular solution but I do think that it is timely to have a more objective look at the process of funding decisions as this is the most important element in matching our research community to the changing shape of our innovation system,” said Sir Peter.

“When all is said and done, funding decisions affect what science will contribute to our world”.

In an additional blog post, Sir Peter writes that the peer review system in place in New Zealand may no t be delivering the best possible outcomes for publicly-funded scientific research.

“The outcome can be that the research that gets funded is not necessarily the most innovative; rather, there is an almost inevitable progression towards predictable and safe activity.”

The report can be downloaded here.