Today in Australia our attitude and policy towards Science is not smart.
Not smart by any means, and there is no SMART plan.
No Strategic, Measured, Accurate, Realistic, Timed, approach.
At a time when our defence force is undergoing a comprehensive restructure, we are cutting the funding of Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).
However, this capability should be increased in order to save the taxpayer money.
In this context it is critical to have a dedicated science minister in order to have a coherent policy.
On one hand, we are setting up a huge medical research fund to massively increase medical research, and on the other we are issuing significant cuts to CSIRO, DSTO, ANSTO, the Australian Research Council and the Australian Institute of Marine Science .
This is not a coherent policy.
There are a lot of questions with this policy.
Is this funding to medical research going to be general, or specifically targeted at cancer, Alzheimer's and the like?
How are we going to source those researchers?
They don't grow on trees, and the training required is long and arduous, and very long lead times are required.
This is an edited extract of Dennis Jensen's speech to the parliament last night.
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