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It's more a reflection on the fact that our governments have successively cut CSIRO's funding again and again despite their demonstrated return on investment and notable achievements.

Really? It seems pretty steady although it has ticked down slightly as a percentage of gdp since 2012. And looking at spending as a percentage of gdp is a bit misleading, as funding may increase but not at the same pace as gdp growth. I think a more meaningful measure would be real dollars.

CSIRO funding over time

2012-2013 733.8

2013-2014 778.2

2014-2015 745.3

2015-2016 750.3

Do you think that high extra 28mm to attain that high water mark of 2013-2014 funding would have made the big impact?

Maybe 2017-2018 are dramatically lower and if they are, please provide a source.



Thanks for pointing that out and correcting me. I'd not followed it personally since the Abbott prime-minstership and didn't realise that Turnbull had actually reversed the inital plan to cut $115m over 5 years. The first year of that was the ~30m reduction in 2014-15 that your data shows. I hope the 2016-17 figure continues that trend.

Again, thanks for fact-checking me. I appreciate the correction!

Thanks for keeping things factual.

Indeed. The most recent governments' hostility toward scientific research has been hugely damaging to the research community in Australia. The CSIRO were once an amazing asset to the world, now with their funding slashed dramatically there are many brilliant teams without the resources to develop their ideas. So disappointing and frustrating to watch. :-(


> "anti-intellectual religious zealots"

This is a ridiculous thing to say. Curtin, Hawke, and Gillard all left the faiths they were raised in, and the first two Prime Ministers were Spiritualist (no dogma, not really zealots) and Unitarian (no supernatural belief) respectively. Australia is not a country in which accusations of zealotry can be fairly levelled.

If you'll allow me to ignore the non-sequiter about Abbott, it's worth pointing out that while he did cut CSIRO funding, as much to my disappointment as it was to yours, it wasn't really unprecedented, with funding experiencing lows that were similar under Hawke and Howard.[0]

We ought to fund public research better in this country. We can afford it. But we don't have to use silly name-calling to get there.

[0]: https://theconversation.com/infographic-how-much-does-austra...

I think they were referring to the previous two Coalition governments. Abbott was certainly a religious zealot.

As a scientist in training this is hugely demoralizing. The CSIRO is an amazing institution — with an excellent sense of humour on social media. We should be proud as punch about CSIRO's achievements, and ensure that they are enabled to continue their laudable work.

Didn't know about CSIRO's earlier inventions, awesome

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