News & Views item - October 2013
Australia's Coalition Governmental Research Policy Looks Increasingly as Though it Were Designed by a Camel. (October 7, 2013)
The Australian's Julie Hare reported in Saturday's HES that: "New administrative arrangements for tertiary education announced this week will see the Education Department gain responsibility for research policy, infrastructure and engagement, while science research policy and international science engagement will belong in the industry portfolio."
So: "Research Policy" is to be determined by the Minister for Education.
While "Science Research Policy" is to be determined by the Minister for Industry.
And "Infrastructure and Engagement" will be determined by the Education Minister,
While "International Science Engagement" goes to the Industry Minister,
And, Oh yes, Lucky Ian Chubb, Australian Chief Scientist reports to Industry; perhaps it might be more appropriate to have him retitled Australian Chief Innovator.
Did we mention science has no minister per se.
And all the while Universities Australia's CEO, Belinda Robinson, tries to sound as though she understands the meaning of the government's pronouncements.
She might be better off taking Lewis Carroll's advice given in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There:
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"