Gluckman’s apology for National’s science package shredded

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 pm, May 13th, 2010 - 36 comments
Categories: science - Tags: , , , , , ,

Peter Gluckman is easily one of New Zealand’s most over-rated, under-examined public figures. Although little more than a corporate frontman out to extract as many public dollars for private interests as he can lay his hands on, because he’s called ‘Sir’ and he’s all ‘sciencey’ a lot of the tripe he spews goes unchecked. Well, not this time.

As Chief Science Advisor to the National Government, Gluckman helped design National’s latest science package – a package that’s less than half of what the last Labour administration pledged to science funding, and one that’s in large part corporate welfare at the expense of public funding of public research institutions. Have a listen to Sean Plunkett showing up Gluckman and his package for what they really are, or read Gordon Campbell’s analysis of just how bad the package actually is.

36 comments on “Gluckman’s apology for National’s science package shredded”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Sadly sprout this is a real issue; with real consequences.

    Which is why this thread will be virtually ignored and the flim flam over Key’s ‘cannibalism’ duffery will get over a hundred comments.

    Sometimes I wonder if we simply deserve what we get.

    • grumpy 1.1

      Including, at least 5 from your mate Sprout and even more from you.

      I agree with your summary of Gluckman though, a scientific lightweight and hired mouthpiece.

    • Armchair Critic 1.2

      Which is why this thread will be virtually ignored
      Untrue – the crowd has gone wild.

  2. indeed it is a very real issue, and indeed it will get next to no coverage.

    i wonder too, but in my stronger moments i still think we don’t deserve this

  3. if you’d actually worked with the man, rather than just read his self-authored bio, you’d have some idea of what you’re talking about. but instead you’re just quoting Gluckman on Gluckman. 😆
    your pseudonym does however accurately reflect the sophistication of your thinking, well done.

    [lprent: The comment you were responding to has been removed to spam. It was from someone who has been previously permanently banned for very poor behaviour. Now with a new IP. ]

    • Neil 3.1

      if you could give us your bio sprout then we might be able to make some comparisons.

      afterall, world renowned scientist and science entreperneur vs anonymous blogger – difficult choice.

  4. Armchair Critic 4

    Nice attempted diversion
    500 papers, numerous awards and international recognition don’t make it okay for him to be an apologist for what the government are doing.
    Can you address the issues –
    1. National’s funding of R&D is much lower than the funding available just a few years ago.
    2. National plan to convert the funding into a business subsidy, because the private sector steadfastly refuse to invest in R&D.
    3. Peter Gluckman is a paid apologist for 1 and 2.
    [lprent: The comment you were responding to has been removed to spam. It was from someone who has been previously permanently banned for very poor behaviour. Now with a new IP. ]

  5. Galeandra 5

    areyouretarded? Because he’s got a hand up his bum?

    [lprent: The comment you were responding to has been removed to spam. It was from someone who has been previously permanently banned for very poor behaviour. Now with a new IP. ]

  6. Neil 6

    500 papers, numerous awards and international recognition don’t make it okay for him to be an apologist for what the government are doing.

    no it wouldn’t but since you are the one alleging “apologist” then perhaps you could shed some light as to why your opinion should carry more weight than some one who has spent their career working in science and has made very significant achievements for NZ in the fields of health and genetics and science and business.

    • Armchair Critic 6.1

      “…perhaps you could shed some light as to why your opinion should carry more weight…”
      Listen to the first link in the post, read the second, make up your own mind. If Gordon Campbell’s article doesn’t convince you, and if Sean Plunkett (who seems to be a minor National cheerleader these days) assisting Peter Gluckman to tie himself into knots is not enough, then I doubt anything I write will work for you.
      How much weight my opinion carries is irrelevant – are you incapable of assessing arguments on their merits? Or do you instinctively trust the authority figure with the white coat over his suit and tie?

  7. Neil 7

    since neither Campbell nor Plunket know anything about science and science funding then I don’t see why their opinons should carry any weight.

    whereas Gluckman has forged a very sucessful career in those fields.

    so, yes I have weighed up the respective arguments.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      “so, yes I have weighed up the respective arguments.”

      Not in that comment you didn’t. You just dismissed Campbell and Plunket because of who they are. You do realise that’s not weighing up their arguments right?

      • Neil 7.1.1

        what arguments do they make? I read and listended and can’t see anything that makes the slightest sense.

        whereas I have read the two speeches Gluckman has recently made and he makes a great deal of sense which is not much of a surprise since he really does know what he’s talking about.

        • Armchair Critic 7.1.1.1

          what arguments do they make?
          They argue that while there is a small increase in funding for R&D this year, the total funding is less than a few years ago. That’s not a scientific argument, and Peter Gluckman dealt with it poorly.
          They also argue that the funding is applied as a subsidy to business and that this might not be the most direct way of using the money. Again, not a scientific argument, and again Peter Gluckman dealt with it poorly.
          If your reading and listening skills didn’t pick this up then that says more about you than Messrs Campbell and Plunkett, and Dr Gluckman. Alternatively, you are deliberately ignoring what was said, which makes me inclined to believe you are a partisan hack.

          • Neil 7.1.1.1.1

            the insults don’t do anything to dissuade me from my conclusion that Gluckman is more informed on the issue than Campbell, Plunket and various anonymous bloggers.

            [lprent: What insults? I’m jealous of my prerogatives, so after I read your comment, I went looking for people encroaching on moderator territory. We’re the only ones allowed to seriously insult people around here. I didn’t find any such breaches.

            Ok, so let me summarize your position as a non-pseudonymous writer. You’re a idiot who seems to think that reducing projected increases in R&D spending by more than a half indicates success in the field of R&D funding? Moreover you’re stupid enough to waste my time by claiming a breach of the policy that I failed to find. It appears that you did this purely because you don’t have any substantive argument (and incidentally I could make one on your side without even stretching).

            I’ll give you some free advice. This is a moderated blog. Don’t waste my time by calling attention to things that you think may need moderation, but don’t. ]

            • Armchair Critic 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Indeed – what you think and why you think it is very clear, at least as regards the subject of this post.

            • Jenny 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Pardon me for jumping in here Lynne, but I recall, that recently someone calling themselves Noodles, likened the Maori Party to fascists and was supported for doing it.

              Possibly because they were referring to a comment from someone who considers themselves to be left of Labour, this was allowed.

              In my humble opinion the right get away with so much, because the left repeatably hobble themselves with sectarianism. Which in the MMP environment is a particularly self-destructive vice.

              • lprent

                ….likened the Maori Party to fascists and was supported for doing it.

                What gave you that idea? Noodles didn’t compare to fascists, you did that. What I said was that she/he/it had a point in that the MP and BNP are both culturally based parties while I was responding to you.

                I didn’t state what my view was, because I haven’t formed one. What I supported was that she/he/it was able to make a valid point. You can argue against it. But you can’t argue against letting it through. I generally don’t stifle debate unless things are are verging over into flamewars that make this place hard to manage. Read the policy. This is a forum for wide debate, for people to agree to disagree, and that means people must be able to present viewpoints. You presented yours. I pointed out the flaws in your argument as I saw them. Noodles didn’t present an arguement.

                …from someone who considers themselves to be left of Labour

                I have no idea who noodles is. I think that is the first time I’ve seen them comment.

                Incidentally, my general position is that I’m probably to the right of Labour on many things, left on some things, probably more supportive to maori aspirations (for reasons quite different to the MP) and distinctly greener on others. I’m not much into monolithic block positions. I make up my own mind, decide what I will expend effort to support or work against, and I’m into debating pros and cons of different viewpoints to arrive at that.

                In this case, Neil said he’d been insulted. So I popped in to see, found that he hadn’t been, and gave him a insulting blast for wasting my moderating time.

            • Neil 7.1.1.1.1.3

              you might not consider “partisan hack” and insult but I don’t consider it to be a particularly brilliant argument. Especially considering I had not praised or criticised the science funding policies of any political party.

              then you call me an “idiot” and “stupid” which according to your rules just fine.

              I only commented to lend support to someone else whose comments you have deleted and since those comments are gone you can delete mine as well.

              • lprent

                1. The person whose comments were deleted has been previously banned for stalking and identity theft of other people on the net. Basically for being an obsessional nutter. Perhaps that says something about who you like to support?

                2. I don’t care particularly what people call each other within some quite broad limits. I care if there is a point made in the comment that justifies the ‘insult’. Pointless insults (that aren’t made by a moderator) are a warning/banning offence. In this case, you had people saying (pretty politely for here) that you were full of crap, saying why, and suggesting reasons for your attitude. I’d suggest that you toughen up – it can get a lot worse.

                3. Moderators are outside the rules. Essentially we hate having to intervene – it takes time and effort. Personally, I operate on the principle of sadistic levels of torment as a general mechanism to encouraging people *not* to attract my moderating attention. Irish just gives long bans. But generally it’d be safe to say that it is your job not to attract our moderating attention. It is your problem – not ours.

                4. You attracted my attention (and I pretty much scan every comment) by claiming you were being insulted or abused. That is something that I look at in case it drops into a flame war.

                5. You have just wasted some more of my time. Read the policy and learn how not to attract my moderating attention.

              • Neil

                You have just wasted some more of my time.

                That’s not something I’m concerned about, perhaps you should “toughen up”.

                Perhaps that says something about who you like to support?

                Since I was responding to the posts here without being privy to what ever grievances you have with others how would I know what they are like?

                But since you choose to attack me on that while having removed the evidence by which others could judge I would prefer it if you deleted all my posts.

              • Armchair Critic

                With all the respect I can gather, Neil, I offer this advice – quit while you are behind.

              • Neil

                With all the respect I can gather…

                I spent the morning on a project promoting NZ science overseas, I feel I’ve earned a bit of entertainment.

              • Armchair Critic

                …I feel I’ve earned a bit of entertainment.
                OK, best of luck, then.

        • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1.2

          Well if you can’t follow the fairly simple criticisms being made then I guess it makes sense you would reach the conclusion you have.

    • Armchair Critic 7.2

      so, yes I have weighed up the respective arguments
      Well, you’ve made a decision. And it appears you have made it based on the name, not the points made. Which is understandable.

  8. Perhaps Neil you could address the points raised in Gordon Campbell’s column and comment on why he is wrong. Right now your argument seems to be “Gluckman good the others do not understand”.

    You will have to do better than that.

    I am sure that Gluckman would prefer that an argument be evidence based.

  9. Not perhaps the most humble person you’ll ever meet, but Dr Gluckman is a serious scientist. There is no doubt that the latest science funding is a poor second to that proposed by the previous government, but that can be said without the gratuitous attack on his scientific career.

  10. gingercrush 10

    A rather strange thread. Why not focus the attack on how much the funding is and the model of that funding instead of attacking Peter Gluckman. IMO you could have made a perfectly reasonable post without the first paragraph. Also what you said in regards to Peter Gluckman could easily apply to Selwyn Pallet who has far more corporate interest than Gluckman. And for whom Goff has openly stated about the relationship between the Fabian Society and Labour. If you were intent on attacking Gluckman then do so as Gordon Campbell did. That way you don’t sound like a wanker.

    But lets be honest. If National’s is somehow corporate welfare then what the hell was Labour’s R&D policy that was more than twice the size? You also ignore that previously National has opened up more scholarship opportunities etc and have more here. As for whether the policy is too commercial as some have criticised it as. Surely that is where Research and Development needs to go. We’ve been told for years that we’re good at research but that we haven’t been able to commercialise that research. If thats the case and its an argument that both the left and right have shared. Then surely putting research money where it can be commercialised is the way to go. That’s why Labour’s policy also was far more focused on commercialising research and development.

  11. tc 11

    Yet another example of the Nats ability to get what they want by using a ‘friendly’ go to person…….and when they can’t you get eCan and the likes.

    Gluckman’s probably been shown the ‘be nice to the gov’t…..or pension’ option…..poor bloke.

  12. Nemesis 12

    Labour’s R&D funding was never affordable. When you’ve got a decade of deficits in front of you you don’t go splashing money around willy nilly. Have labour promised to restore the fast forward fund? Where is the money coming from?

    Labour is dreaming again.

    • the sprout 12.1

      guess it depends on whether you’re genuinely ambitious for NZ.
      or just talking any old shit you think people might want to hear.

      • Nemesis 12.1.1

        Oh you mean like the knowledge wave, closing the gaps, or getting to the top half of the OECD by 2010. Good point. Under Labour there was no growth in the productive sector in the last five years of government. Recession for five years. All the growth was in government and property. Nice one labour.

  13. Dreadnaught 13

    Peter Gluckman is far from a false scientist; he’s just a poor politician. You guys might not get this down in Wellington, but Gluckman is a world-leading scientist – he’s a founding director of the Liggins Institute here in AKL. This institute does world-leading scientific research; stuff that maybe one or two other institutes (US, Swiss) can do (not easy stuff – they do a lot of mathmatical modelling for biomedicine which is, you’ll have to take my word on it, tough, tough stuff).

    Yes, in being the cheif scientific advisor for Jonkey, he is advancing his personal interests e.g. the importance of the Liggins Institute, future science advisory posts overseas etc etc (but try and tell me that Jonkey isn’t just doing a stint as PM to get a well-paid ambassadorship in Barbados).

    And, yes, I really don’t understand what he was going on about when he said it’s an exciting time for science in NZ when clearly this new scientific funding is well less than the old Labour tax credits.

    Buuuut, the one thing that he has got dead right, and the one thing that Jonkey has listened to, is the allocation of the watered-down funding – setting aside 9 millon for highly-paid post doctoral research positions is the right way of getting the best brains into the country (or retaining the best brains). This is the way Singapore does it ($90k salary +$40k research funds per annum) and they have been wildly successful in turning around science in Singapore. It will pay off.

    So Gluckman, excellent allocation of (unfortunately meagre) scientific funds; bad idea trying to play politician with Sean Plunket…

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