Henry’s subscriber and deep thinker about science policy, Lindsay Bevage, presents a simple way to get better bang for the bucks we taxpayers contribute to science and technology:

Imagine that you had to spend several months every year applying for your job in the following year, with only a 25% chance of success. What would happen to your productivity and morale?

Few individuals would accept this situation and it would bankrupt any business. Yet that is what faces many young Australian scientific researchers. They are on a largely pointless treadmill of short-term appointments funded by small grants to Universities and Research Institutes by bodies such as the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Bevage adds: “I have spent many years on the campaign about more funds for science and helped bring in significant gains to CSIRO during the early 90s. This is an opportunity to free up significant resources for research by simply reforming some of the bureaucracy and implementing sensible management approaches. In the process, we could help help give our young researchers a career and a semblance of a decent salary. The NH&MRC and the ARC simply refuse to discuss the issue as they say they are only there to deliver programs set by the Government and not formulate policy”.

This is worth a long, hard look, Peter Costello and Julie Bishop.

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