Friday, June 30, 2006

First Navigator Network review published

and at 45 pages long you'd expect to tuck in over a nice hot cup of coffee and find lots of inspirational stuff extolling high value niche R&D opportunities for NZ. well... not so much.

i guess if you don't think about 'science' on a regular basis, most of this might seem interesting or novel. i would recommend reading Scientific American however, the articles are longer and have illustrations. this report seems to highlight the current round of buzzwords (to its credit, it mentions this risk in passing), but doesn't really come to grips with anything.
'Carbon nanotubes and nanodots are looking promising...' - ya think?
'energy outlook uncertain...' - really?
'biofuels are hot property given the current climate change and oil prices...' - no kidding.
'biology and food are important...' - uhhh

sorry guys, this looks like science by govt committee (check out p 44 on Karen Cronin, who heads the NN) which is by definition derivative and risk averse. a lot of the comments also seem to show academic FUD about corporate based research (it must be bad and untrustworthy since money is involved) and that most hackneyed of assumptions 'peer review may be flawed but it's the best thing we have'.

i just don't get what this is supposed to do unless you count 'talking about science' as equivalent to 'doing science'. the cynic in me suspects that talking about science counts as make work these days and that NZ will drift along for the next decade at the remedial pace its done for the last 10 years.


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