We are pleased to announce the publication of Science Embraced: Government-funded Science under the Microscope. It is the first report published under our new name, the McGuinness Institute (previously the Sustainable Future Institute), and is the ninth report of Project 2058.
The report seeks to contribute to a deeper discussion on science in society and the role of government in science. This is a discussion we consider very important for New Zealand, as science funding is one of the few areas in which government invests solely in our country’s future. The report highlights the importance of science as a powerful lever for social action and improving well-being.
Science Embraced firstly gives a brief analysis of the history of government-funded science in New Zealand and reviews trends in science and science policy. It then explores the government-funded science system in regard to its purpose, strategy and execution. The final sections of the report pose 30 strategic questions that highlight significant policy knots and identify a number of myths and tensions. It closes by recommending ten actions needed to deliver an optimal government-funded science system for New Zealand. The report covers the whole system, and as such is very broad.
We have been very fortunate to have Sir Paul Callaghan support our work on this project and contribute a foreword for the report. In it he writes, ‘This is not just a challenge for the science sector; the New Zealand public need to be engaged and inspired, to be involved as stakeholders and investors, and to be willing to take up this challenge alongside the science community. The challenge for scientists is to articulate and act upon the values that will inspire their fellow citizens.’
The release of the report has garnered some attention in the media. The Dominion Post, New Zealand Management Magazine and stuff.co.nz gave coverage of the report’s release, while independent bloggers have also commented on the report. Guest Sciblogger and Intellectual Property mentor, Doug Calhoun, congratulated us on our ‘exhaustive analysis of science in New Zealand.’ Fellow Sciblogger, Peter Griffin, wrote ‘You won’t agree with everything, but this report is the basis for some good discussion about the issues we face in improving our science system and the science-based outcomes we want for the country.’
We are grateful for the interest our report has already received and look forward to further feedback from readers. Please join the conversation about government-funded science on our Facebook and Twitter pages or email us for more information.