CSIRO government funded and government policy directed??

By Eco Guy 11:23pm 7th September 2011
We look at whether the CSIRO is a 'free' research organization or one whose research is driven by government policy.

CSIRO research, independent of government or not?

This is a really big question and an important one to answer, is it determines the validity of the research and publications by the CSIRO that are consumed by the general public and media at large. If the CSIRO is operated without undue government policy 'directing' then that research can be considered as balanced and fair in coverage. If on the other hand, the CSIRO has been constrained in its remit to fit in with current government policy, then the research, by its nature, is unbalanced and has in effect turned into a weapon of political spin - something that is a rather pale imitation of 'free minded' research.

First off, a rather interesting video from Dr Art Raiche, a retired CSIRO Chief Research Scientist.


So based on what Art has said it seems certainly likely that the policy of the current government has got into deciding what research gets done at CSIRO via a formalized management layer. This is not good for their independent point of view.

Next a video by Dr David Evans, who worked as a climate modeler at the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change).

Now rather than focus on his thoughts on climate change, think about what he says with respect to the interference of government in the research that is undertaken and how that disrupts the ability of that research to come to a balanced and well considered position on any given subject. Does it sound somewhat familiar to what Art said, especially with the rough date around which things started to go down hill, i.e. the 1980's??


Its seems that there is something going on here, namely government policy looks to be interfering with deciding what research gets perused and then published and presented. This means the research done by the CSIRO is likely to be politically skewed, as the research that should have been done to create a balanced perspective is missing - this is bad for decision making and bad for research in general; as everything done in this 'research environment' is essentially unsound and will have to be reworked over before proper science can proceed. This is of course assuming that we get a political change that is enlightened enough to undo the damage done, which is in no way guaranteed given the changes that have happened so far..

What can you do? I suggest you contact your MP and share this post as far and wide as possible.

Related Content Tags: research, climate change, australia

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Comments left

  • The Lorax said:

    Nice unbiased article! What a load - get some balance or don't report - have a look at who funded Raiche - do some research you are not qualified to comments and what gives you the right to slander the hard working scientists at the CSIRO- what if the type of research is determined by management , that does not mean the results are.

    So scientists have to justify the business case for their research well welcome to the real world so they cant go and research the underside of 2 c coins in rubbish tips to understand the bacterias component just in case it might help them in the future but their research has to e actually focused on something - hey why don't you go and do some research instead of repeating this mindless drivel - have a look a the history of Alan Jones and his pastrecord and see if he is trustworthy - Art is a bitter old man who is screaming for relevance who was in the pay of the mining company ( as sponsors ) for years.

    ON Sat, 10 Sep 11, 4:41am probably from Australia  Reply to this comment

    • Eco Guy said:

      Lorax, commenting on a possible situation as to how the focus on research is determined is not slander; it's called fair comment. If it was the likes of Raiche and Evans would have been sued and their videos would not still be on the Internet...

      Yes justifying research is the usual case, but when you have what looks like a management which looks to government constantly for direction - thats a problem. Research should not be so restricted in its outlook.

      As regarding Art Raiches funding - any references I can have a look at? A search like 'art raiche funding mining' and variations on that theme find nothing of interest so far. Thanks.

      ON Sat, 10 Sep 11, 8:26am probably from Australia  Reply to this comment

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