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The Administration of Scientific Research is too

Important to be in the Hands of Politicians or the


Bureaucracy
The world requires those who live and depend on it to change with it. In the interests
of the technological development of Australia and the world, politicians and
bureaucrats dedicate large sums of money to scientific research, but only as much
as they determine the economic value of Australias science industry. The
effectiveness of such a system depends on the nations dedication to scientific
research, as well as the ability for that nation to fund the scientific research it
pursues.
Scientific research is recognized by the government and Australias people as being
key to Australias future, but the bureaucracy that surrounds aspects relating to
scientific research can hinder this research from occurring effectively. The greatest
constraint that accompanies scientific research is the funding required to conduct the
research itself. As scientific research projects are expensive by nature, the
Government of Australia provides grants for those projects it deems suitable for the
funding set aside for the research. It is intriguing to note that scientific research is
seen by many citizens as being the key to developing Australia technologically,
economically and monetarily, yet the 2016-17 Budget allocated 0.02% of all
expenditure to the science industry, a relatively small $9.7bn out of $450.6bn, based
on information from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the
2016 Budget. When compared to a much larger estimated $158.61bn to be spent on
welfare in Australia, this figure seems amazingly small. An increased science budget
may even work to reduce costs in other government departments through innovating
existing technologies and developing new technologies. If analysed according to the
funding allocated to scientific research, it can certainly be said that politicians and
bureaucrats are negatively impacting our science industry as a nation. When the
benefits the industry provides are placed against the disadvantages caused by the
lack of funding by the government, it is not unreasonable to assume that politicians
and bureaucrats are hindering Australias science industry, vital for the nations
economic success. Therefore, some may assume that Australias science industry is
indeed too important to be administered by politicians and should instead be
administered by the scientists themselves.
The funding constraints that the government places on scientific research are
certainly detrimental to Australias science industry, but they are a necessary
constraint for the industry to operate at its optimal productivity. There is always
something new to discover or explain and this is why funding constraints must be
applied by the government. If not for the funding constraints, the amount of money
spent on scientific research would increase to an unsustainable level, negative to
Australias people and economy. Fewer funds also increase competition in the
industry and ensures that funded projects are deserving of such funding.
Leading scientists in Australia require grant approval from the Australian Government
in order to receive necessary funding to conduct scientific research; many may view
this as being inefficient as politicians often make decisions based on personal and
party beliefs, rather than in the interest of science and sometimes Australia. It is very
difficult for a scientist to have to convince a person unfamiliar with the particular field

that they should receive the funding for a scientific project. This is brought even more
to light when the event occurs that a politician has made decisions based on popular
opinion rather than the facts and the science. For example, the current government
of Australia recently issued a plan to increase STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, Mathematics) learning in schools, yet the conservative nature of the
government results in little funding for jobs in these fields and therefore STEM
subjects currently lead into a field with no employment to attract those who study the
subjects. Similarly, the Australian Government recently cut jobs in the CSIRO Ice
Lab and will be ceasing key CSIRO Antarctic operations as they provide little
external revenue and economic benefit, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. If
politicians are going to determine funding on the immediate economic prospects
rather than the actual scientific value of the project, then it is clear that governments
do not fully support scientific research. Therefore, it must be noted that the future of
Australias scientific research industry must not be entirely up to those who control
the funding, the government. They may at times let their unfamiliarity with the
industry impact decisions that should be based on facts alone, showing that the
scientific research is too important to be managed by politicians and bureaucrats as
they may fail to make the right decisions.
The Australian Scientific Research Industry is an important part of Australias future
as the world relies more strongly on technology every day. The greatest constraint
for scientific research at current moment is funding and many see the industry as
being too important for politicians to be those who decide on key issues. Politicians
make decisions about scientific research based on party need, available funds and
voter appeal but not always scientific need. Without regulation of funding, the
science industry however will never find an end. At current, the problem is that the
absolute control of funding by politicians is inefficient and unreliable for scientists and
the industry, but the industry also cannot completely neglect a controlling
bureaucratic figure. The scientific research industry is indeed an important one,
however it is not too important for the bureaucracy and politicians to be removed
from it entirely.