There’s an interesting piece by Peter Griffin over at Sciblogs on various parties’ positions on science in NZ. Well worth a read, I’ll quote just the Labour section:
The political parties and where they stand on science
Dr Megan Woods, Labour MP for Wigram, spokesperson for Canterbury Issues, Climate Change, Energy, Innovation & Science, and Research & Development. Associate for Trade and Export Growth:
- Funding science starts with the education system – Labour wants a review of the Performance-Based Research Fund system and also a review of the Tertiary Education Commission, which needs to be more strategic rather than a “provider of widgets”.
- Doesn’t want to merge the universities and Crown research institutes, but wants to incentivise them to work more closely together to overcome the overly competitive research environment.
- Has her doubts about the National Science Challenges, will see what tweaks can be made in consultation with the scientific community and address gaps that aren’t being filled.
- Need to ensure the Marsden Fund continues to be funded and pointed out that our spending on science is behind the OECD average.
- Need better career paths for our scientists.
- We don’t make enough use of our departmental chief science advisors. The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor is held “too close to the executive” and needs to be more independent, like the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
See Sciblogs for other parties.
Not many Kiwis vote on the basis of science – and that’s one of our problems. The Nats have been disgraceful, choosing ideology over the evidence on climate change, water quality, education, and more. They pay lip service to science when it suits them (“social investment”), they ignore it and attack scientists when it doesn’t. You can “get away” with this in the short term, but in the long term in leads to disaster.
How to make the political process in NZ more rational and evidence based?