Friday, August 24, 2012

Ummm .... okay

From the PM's speech at the presentation of the Transit of Venus Forum report last night:
"The first thing I would highlight is that we have been actively working to lift the profile of science in New Zealand."
Seriously? How? Whilst I'll admit that I'm somewhat biased, in as much as I'm already in the field and am thus possibly less likely to see the reaction of the public to "measures to lift the profile of science".

So there's:
On becoming Prime Minister I established the position of Chief Science Advisor, reporting to me personally, which Sir Peter has filled admirably.
This is something I suspect most people in the science community are aware of. And a limited number of the general public. And whilst it's been a good thing, I'm at best unsure as to it's benefit in lifting the profile of  science in NZ.
I also launched the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, with total prize money of $1 million, because I think our scientists deserve their share of public acknowledgement and acclaim.
Oh? That's nice. If I've barely registered this, I seriously doubt anyone else has
And we are continuing to improve the way the science system operates. Sir Peter’s Forum report highlights some opportunities in this regard and we’ll continue to work on those.
Over the last year, I've seen many pictures, nice diagrams with generic high levels statements about what is being done for science. I've not seen any perceptible change in the general public's perception though.

Someone remind me, I'd like to say something positive about the public perception of science in NZ at some point. It's Friday and late though. And the Malthouse has done me in with Tuatara's Double trouble.

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