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Science Funding

Entry 49, on 2004-09-06 at 09:46:55 (Rating 1, Science)

Science groups in New Zealand are complaining because they have less funding for medical research than they have in the past. At the same time the government is saying they are putting more money in.

Apparently, what has gone wrong is that a large proportion of the funding has been intercepted by organisations, such as University management, to cover administration and other costs.

In my experience working in a University this is true. In fact it is worse that that. Not only does a large proportion of the funding intended for research disappear, but a significant part of researchers time is wasted developing justifications for their research and providing accounting information to justify their existence.

But its even worse than that! The researchers who are successful with grants and other funding often seem to be the ones who are skillful at manipulating the system, not always those who are the best researchers.

The whole system of mindless bureaucracy goes away beyond this of course, and it has got to stop. We need to trust specialists in every field to do their work without having to constantly justify themselves to accountants and managers.

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