Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced nearly $1 million of new funding to produce news headlines suggesting that the government is positive about science.Inspired by the Government spending yet more money encouraging young people to pursue careers in science while cutting jobs at the other end of the pipeline.
"This government wants to appear positive about science and technology, and I am pleased to be able to announce this additional funding for a second tranche of projects designed to produce headlines saying that," Mr Joyce says.
"We’ve provided funding to the next highest ranked applications that were not able to be funded with the initial $1 million available in 2014/15. We want to support as many of these innovative headline-generating projects as possible.
"This means 25 new projects will be carried out in communities around New Zealand, gencouraging young people to care about science. Some of them will be inspired to go on and study science at university and become the scientists of tomorrow. Of course, they'll be laid off within three years and forced to go overseas or change careers, but the government's target of generating positive headlines about itself will have been achieved".
The Unlocking Curious Minds programme is part of the Government’s strategic plan to encourage all New Zealanders to get engaged with science and technology. It ties in with the innovation and skills stream of the Business Growth Agenda, and the National Statement of Science Investment, which commits to underfunding scientific research.
"The National Government believes that science funding should not be spent funding public good research by scientists," said Mr Joyce. "Instead it is focused on what matters: generating positive spin for itself while leaving the fundamental problem of an under-resourced science sector unaddressed".