My time in Canberra - George

George speaks at the press conference at Parliament

It was a pleasure visiting Canberra in Budget week hoping to be able to add some strength to the voices calling on the government to stop the ongoing cuts to science and research (as well as the threats for further cuts) in Australia. This push is spearheaded by Adam Bandt MP, and his team to whom we are thankful for the opportunity. I was hence, hoping to act as a real life example of the "casualties" of funding cuts.

"It was no surprise to find no improvement on the current situation, rather many funding cuts or re-allocations of monies, like taking from the left hand to give the right."

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My time in Canberra - Jess

Jess and George at Parliament House

George and I travelled to Canberra on the eve of the Federal Budget to speak up for long term investment in science and research. Under both this Government and the previous one there have been cuts to science that have harshly impacted the scientific community in Australia. With the threat of possible further cuts to key programs like the Future Fellowships program, and in the absence of truly secure and sustainable funding, scientists like us have been living with uncertainty about our futures and careers. Sadly, this lack of security can also hamper our ability to produce the best research possible in the long term, and allow us to contribute our best towards a smart and sustainable economy.

"..although this budget struck me as somewhat better than the last one, I was surprised and disappointed that the word science was not even mentioned!"

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Budget 2015 must save science and respect research: Greens

Greens Deputy Leader and science and research spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to lift investment in science and research in the upcoming Budget, starting by reversing the over $100 million in cuts to the CSIRO and offering a fair pay deal to CSIRO staff. Staff at the CSIRO have today began industrial action after negotiations over pay and conditions stalled.

“Tony Abbott’s last Budget was a killer for science and research,” Mr Bandt said.

“The Abbott government has taken Australia backwards by cutting spending on science and research to the lowest level since we started keeping records, and that includes taking the axe to the CSIRO.”

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New Principles of Research Launched

Australian Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson on Science, Innovation and Industry Adam Bandt MP has released 6 principles for the campaign to Respect Research ahead of the upcoming forum in Melbourne.

These principles will underpin the future approach of the Respect Research campaign.

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ABBOTT CUTS R&D INVESTMENT TO ALL TIME LOW

"Abbott Government spending on science, research and innovation this year is now only 0.56 per cent of GDP, an equal record low since Treasury started publishing data in the late 1970s," Mr Bandt said in a media release on September 29. 

The figures from the media release have been investigated and confirmed by ABC Fact Check.

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The rot set in under the last government, but if we remain quiet Tony Abbott will cut science and research spending to new lows. Help us get the word out -- share news of his cuts with your friends now.

When it comes to spending on research and innovation, Australia already lags behind countries like the US, UK, Germany, Japan and Korea. But we’re set to fall even further behind. This year, we will invest only 0.56% of GDP into science and research -- that's less than we did in 1979.

If we keep cutting spending, the country's brain drain will continue and we’ll wake up when the mining boom is over to find that we’re a hollowed-out, uneducated quarry.

It’s time we invest in our future by respecting research.

Tony Abbott was hoping his cuts to R&D investment would go unnoticed, but today The Age reported that he has taken science and research spending to an historic low. Read the full report online and share this news with your friends on Facebook now.

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SCIENCE MATTERS

On Tuesday, I joined the launch at Parliament House of Science Matters -- a collection of works by some of Australia’s leading scientists and researchers on how we could address the challenges of Australia’s future.

Yesterday, I spoke in Parliament about why we need to respect and invest in research and science, and the importance of curiousity-driven research -- the type of research that has led to some of the breakthroughs in technology that we now use in everyday life.

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Senate backs Respect Research

Our campaign to respect research just got a big boost. Yesterday the Australian Senate backed our pledge and called on the government to protect research funding from cuts in May’s Federal Budget.

More than 10,000 people like you have signed the pledge and made a difference.  Imagine the impact if we can get to 100,000.

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Abbott's Blackmail on Research

Tony Abbott and his government are desperate -- they're now threatening further cuts to research in the hope that the Senate will buckle and pass their plans to deregulate our universities and increase student debt.

I told the media today that the Greens and I will not give in to Tony Abbott's blackmail.

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