Tuesday, November 29, 2005

AgResearch gets a funding boost

AgResearch (i've never liked that name, sounds like acckk-research to me) seems to be in the money lately and is spending $100 million on facilities.
"We're talking about major upgrades in Palmerston North, Invermay (near Dunedin) and Lincoln."
I notice he has to remind people where Invermay is - must be a magnet for attracting researchers. Not that palmy or lincoln are exactly high-octane hotbeds (although, all the CRI's seem to be congregating towards there, its almost as if we're re-centralising our de-centralised research operations...).
Doesn't say much about whether the cash is going to go on new equipment or just facilities (i doubt reasonable salaries are even an option) but this quote:
"We're just getting overcrowded," he said. "We've got lots of staff down at Lincoln working in porta-cabins."
just makes you shudder all the way down to the bone.
I wonder if it might have been easier to invest smaller amounts at regular intervals, now why wouldn't that have occured to them? $100 million sounds like a lot (and it is) but science is an expensive business, it is not life-saving cash injections the system needs (or worse yet, business consolidation), but regular, reasonable funding. If this $100 million is designed to last to 2050, it's not really gonna help in the long term and science is the longest of long term investments you can imagine.

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