there are so many things that have been happening in the last year and a half that make me angry, too many to count. cuts to things that matter, but apparently plenty of money for things that don't, including big tax cuts for top income earners.
and last week cuts to our research and development sector were announced. again. this reminds me so much of the nastiness of a decade ago, when science funding had to be applied for annually so that it was almost impossible to plan for long-term projects. when constant restructuring and layoffs meant an terribly stressful work environment.
according to the CEO of agresearch, the cuts are a result of farmers deciding to no longer pay the meat and wool levy. however, there is also the requirement for CRIs to now provide a 12% profit, even though we are supposedly in a recession.
this latest announcement relates to scientific staff, but once they are gone, it means that the jobs of all related support staff will be at risk. it's a significant contraction of the organisation, and a stupid move given that so much of our global competitive advantage arises from the research done by our CRIs.
when i think that we could have had secure funding based on a mix of government and private sector input via the fast forward fund, it makes me want to cry. how can we expect to have high quality research and innovation in an environment of constant cuts and restructuring? it just won't happen.