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Scientists condemn cuts to our public science from Hobart to New York

HUNDREDS of scientists concerned about CSIRO cuts left their workplaces and the International Climate Conference in Hobart to  rally outside the Tasmanian parliament yesterday; their voice was heard, with #CSIROCuts was one of the third most popular hashtag in Australia for some hours yesterday and back-to-back media coverage.

Malcolm Turnbull and CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall plan to cut 350 jobs across Australia, with about 100 going from the Oceans and Atmosphere Unit, an area that 191 Hobart staff work in.

There’s deep concern about the impact to our public science capability, the mentoring of future scientists and PhD candidates and what this will mean to our international research standing.

Yesterday inside Parliament House, in Hobart, scientists spoke about out about against the gutting of public science at the Senate’s Select Committee into Scrutiny of Government Budget Measures.

At this committee, the Australian Antarctic Division, which is a key partner of CSIRO, told the Senate Inquiry that they heard about the cuts through the media and with no consultation. Read more here.

The Senate also heard:

Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies executive director Richard Coleman:  “our whole reputation is at risk … it’s our international reputation in delivering results”.  Read more here.
CSIRO scientist John Church:

“Our reputation is now trashed, internationally. “I have grave doubts about the future of public good research in CSIRO in the current funding arrangements.” Read more here.

Just last week the New York Times featured an editorial on the CSIRO cuts, which had the headline Australia Turns Its Back on Climate Science, which you can read here.

We’ve seen this government bow to pressure before when there’s public opposition to damaging decisions and regressive policies. When we join together and stand up against what’s wrong – we can make change and build a better future.

Add your voice – sign the CSIRO petition here.

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