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The Scan # 170 29 May 2015

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ News __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Victorian  unis "financially strong" 29 May 2015    |   The Victorian Auditor General has reported that Victoria’s eight universities are in a strong financial position but he was critical of lax procedures governing travel expenditure. The eight universities, and their subsidiaries, generated a combined surplus of $537.1 million for the year ending 31 December 2014. This includes, however, audit adjustments … [Read more...]

Honey Bees

Catalyst     |     25 September 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… At a time  when the government is seeking to linking research funding to "practical" outcomes, here's an example of truly engaged research involving CSIRO, the University of Western Australia's Centre for Integrative Bee Research and the University of Tasmania's Institute of Agriculture.   CSIRO suffered substantial funding cuts in the 2014 Budget, as did science generally.  This is a truly engaging bit of television with a simple message (apart from the everyday importance of science): If we want to keep taking advantage of all the benefits that bees offer, then it's only fair that we provide good food, … [Read more...]

Cutting research is ridiculous

 20 August 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… While some contentious budget savings measures require separate legislation are still in play in the Senate, such as university fee deregulation, the passage of the appropriation bills in late June means that the great bulk of savings measures are already in place. This includes cuts of at least $420 million to science and research funding.  They're already seeing research being cutback or ceased altogether. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The government’s campaign to secure Senate passage of controversial savings measures, such as university fee deregulation and a Medicare “co-payment”, has takenanother hit, with Treasury … [Read more...]

CSIRO cuts gather pace

The Australian     |      11 June 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… CSIRO IS to cut 31 jobs from its Marine and Atmospheric Research division as it works through already announced plans to cut up to 500 jobs, after having its budget slashed by $115 million over four years. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The CSIRO Staff Association said scientists will account for 28 of the job cuts and cover areas such as ocean climate processes and climate modelling, as well as biodiversity. Most of the jobs will be lost in Tasmania and Victoria. The pace of job losses is expected to accelerate. One-off funding of $32 million, to finance redundancies, must be used by … [Read more...]

Science funding actually slashed

Fairfax Media | 29    May 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Science and research have been big losers in the budget, veiled somewhat by the proposed creation of the medical research fund of $20 billion, the purpose of which has been queried by a number of commentators.  As a result of Commonwealth government’s budget cuts, CSIRO is closing several research sites and scaling back research in a number of areas, particularly related to climate change and the environment. Meanwhile, a Coalition backbencher - a scientist, no less - has queried the "coherence" of Coalition science policy. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… An annual direction statement, written by … [Read more...]

CSIRO and the Budget

10 May 2014 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… The ghost in the machine of the economy - indeed in the things we handle in daily life and work - is science. It can be channelled through private enterprise or through government funding. What example of leadership does this government provide if, even more than turning its back on science, it actively diminishes it? - The Age 20 April 2014 ………………………………………………………………………………………………….................................... It used to be that the “Budget process” was heavily shrouded in secrecy and the details of the Budget held closely until the Treasurer got to his feet at 7.30 in the House of Representatives on Budget night  (now … [Read more...]

The Scan | #143 | 11 November 2013

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Typhoon Haiyan slams the PhilippinesSuper Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful on record, destroyed thousands of homes as it tracked across central Philippines. Winds of more than 300km/h, flash flooding and landslides have left families without shelter, food and water. Thousands of people are feared dead. Red Cross staff and volunteers are on the ground in the disaster-affected communities, helping people evacuate and providing emergency first aid and relief supplies, such as food, water and … [Read more...]

CSIRO gets the razor

Fairfax Media   |    8 November 2013  The Coalition government's commitment to science is being questioned after its failure  to nominate a dedicated science minister  (for the first time in 80 years) and subsequent decisions, including the closure of the global warming advisory body the Climate Change Commission, and revelations  that Australia will not be sending its environment minister, Greg Hunt, or any ministerial stand-in to international climate change negotiations starting on Monday in Warsaw - and the failure of the Prime Minister to attend the Prime Minister's  Awards for Science.   Now it emerges that Australia's premier scientific research and development agency is facing … [Read more...]

Australia’s super computer

ANU Media    |   31 July 2013 Australia’s most powerful computer has been officially launched at the opening of the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) high performance computing centre at The Australian National University (ANU). Named after the Japanese god of thunder, lightning and storms, Raijin can perform the same number of calculations in one hour that would take seven billion people armed with calculators 20 years. The supercomputer is the largest in Australia, and reputedly the 27th  largest in the world, and will enable researchers to process vast volumes of data that would otherwise take years to complete, and simply not be possible using desktop … [Read more...]

The Scan Main Edition 3 May 2013 # 115

EIF “loses its buzz” Following excoriating criticism by Phil Clark, chair of the Education Investment Fund (EIF) advisory board, that the EIF has “lost its way”, higher education minister Craig Emerson has indicated through a spokesperson  there would be a “major announcement” related to the Education Investment Fund this week.  Earlier this week, Clark said government inertia and media-driven policy had derailed the EIF, which was set up to fund large-scale, nation-building tertiary education and research infrastructure....[READ MORE].... Federal funds for each uni student to fall Figures released by the government show federal funding for each university student … [Read more...]