Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Spock

Colin James' column today sheds some light (as well as a photo) on John Key's Chief Science Advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman. There's a particularly wry observation on the Finance Minister's faith in science:
Mr English's budget showed his suspicion of science. He has told Sir Peter - and the world - he wants to know what bang he is getting for his buck. In that, English- graduate Mr English is a fitting successor to social history academic Michael Cullen.
...and following on from Catholic science ignoramus Jim Bolger before Cullen.

The appointment of a Chief Science Advisor was something that should have come out of Labour 5's Knowledge Wave but didn't. Perhaps such visible intelligence would have been a threat to the wishful omnipotence of Helen Clark. A Chief Science Advisor would certainly have put the willies up Bolger. So I'm deeply impressed with the risks of friction and compromise with public opinion that John Key has shown by appointing a Public Spock.

I'm keen to hear what Professor Gluckman has to say in a couple of weeks, when he presents a public seminar on whether science can transform NZ's economy at Rutherford House. I see it as a no-brainer. You only have to consider what refrigerated shipping in 1882 did to save NZ's economic bacon. Of course science will save us, but how?