The post-Naylor Report effort to get big new investments in fundamental science is in trouble. Bluntly, the Finance Department appears not to be buying the argument that fundamental research is, in fact, a good investment. I’m not 100% surprised: the Naylor mostly tended to assume the wider benefits of research to economic growth rather than demonstrate or prove it, and the big U-15 institutions have banked everything on a rhetorical strategy of: money for research à a miracle occurs à innovation and growth! A … [ Read More ]
The week before last, you may recall, I took issue with the way the country’s illustrious top university presidents (Gerforno, for short) were trying to sell higher education. Effectively, what they were doing was selling higher education’s research mission by claiming “look, basic research creates jobs” on the basis of a few anecdotes.
The feedback I got was mostly “we really like the portmanteau Gerforno but are not necessarily convinced that there’s any other way to argue for basic research … [ Read More ]
This Government, man. It is something else.
Today, the Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Shaking Hands With Tech Executives, is in Halifax to – are you ready for this? – kick off a nationwide tour to announce the shortlist of the Superclusters competition. Yes, the man has decided that it’s a good use of public money to spend the Parliamentary recess week jetting from one-part of the country to another announcing not the winners of this jumped-up contest but the shortlist. … [ Read More ]
You can tell it’s pre-budget consultation time in Ottawa because university Presidents are writing op-eds about the importance of research and backing the Naylor Report. But man, are they ever unconvincing.
Let’s start with University of Toronto President Meric Gertler’s September 12th Toronto Star op-ed entitled “Don’t Let the World Pass Us By on Science”. The sentiment is fine, I suppose, but the specific evidence Gertler uses to back up his claim is – to put it politely – weak. It says … [ Read More ]
Morning all. Sorry about the service interruption. Nice to be back.
So, I promised you some more thoughts about the Fundamental Science Review. Now that I’ve lot of time to think about it, I think I’m actually surprised by what it doesn’t say, says and how many questions remain open.
What’s best about the report? The history and most of the analysis are pretty good. I think a few specific recommendations (if adopted) might actually be a pretty big deal – in … [ Read More ]