The Australian government recently announced the cutting of the budget of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation which is likely to affect the science stream, thereby possibly threatening national security.
According to The Age, Australia is still trying to figure out the after-effects of such a decision. Following the federal government’s announcement of cutting the CSIRO budget, the national scientific organisation has advocated stricter control over expenses. Earlier this week, the reports stated that CSIRO senior bureaucrats have sent an email to each other that contained plans of ceasing the conduction of “science for science sake” activities. The organisation specified that it would rather become CIRO and do “public good” only if it has to do with jobs and economic growth.
When it comes to science, climate change is an issue that comes to mind. There are several concerned Australians in the field who are very well aware that climate change is associated with national security to a great extent. In case the national science organisation withdraws its commitment to the field, it might pose a threat to national security.
The Liberal-National Coalition has put forth a security document that indicates climate change as a security matter. “Climate change will see higher temperatures, increased sea-level rise and will increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events,” the report read. “These effects will exacerbate the challenges of population growth and environmental degradation, and will contribute to food shortages and undermine economic development.”
CSIRO’s rebranding as CIRO is expected to be implemented very soon, according to reports. “For us, it’s about doing incredible, innovative work, even if the Government is unwilling to support us,” a CSIRO spokesperson said as quoted by SBS Australia. “Science is great, in theory, but when you’re tightening the belt, some things have gotta go. Today, that’s science.”
“Biology, physics, chemistry, technological innovation – unfortunately, this stuff falls under the banner of science and will need to be dropped from our current plans. Nothing against any of these things, but unfortunately money is money,” the spokesperson added.