Australia no longer has an explicit Minister for Science. First time since 1963.

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Well the new cabinet has been announced and we no longer have an explicit Minister for Science. The portfolio still falls under Industry (previously Innovation, Industry, Science and Research), but the department's name has been simplified. Other aspects of the portfolio have been rolled into Education along with other large amounts of streamlining.

We do seem to have a Minister for Sports now though... yay.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-16/abbott-unveils-new-ministry/4960186

loving this gov
no tourism, services, age care, energy and women rights as well as science.
i'm not that surprised by lack of science and women all things considered but no tourism services not just ministry but no sub pro-folio for them either.
are they really not going to address anything and just sit there

and u have a sport minister but none of the above What on earth would he (and that is safe to assume because it liberal) do play sporting events for the country or tax them? i have no idea what it would involve i really cant think of anything.

so i'm looking forwards to the next 4 years quite the advancements will be made.

Things like no dedicated science minister, and no status of women minister or disability care minister aren't a surprise to me at all, the Liberals have had a very uncomfortable relationship with science, and the other things are typical culture war bullshit.

I'm way more surprised about there being no tourism minister, it's a huge part of the economy and something that could shrivel up if it's not taken seriously.

Just be thankful they kept Barnaby Joyce away from the money.

science and womens right??? how dare you people dont you know its the 1950s!

Also, one woman in the cabinet. Australia's cabinet has less women than Afghanistan's cabinet.

thaluikhain:
Also, one woman in the cabinet. Australia's cabinet has less women than Afghanistan's cabinet.

its like a 1950's smurf village

ten.to.ten:
Things like no dedicated science minister, and no status of women minister or disability care minister aren't a surprise to me at all, the Liberals have had a very uncomfortable relationship with science, and the other things are typical culture war bullshit.

I'm way more surprised about there being no tourism minister, it's a huge part of the economy and something that could shrivel up if it's not taken seriously.

Turns out we do have a Status of Women Minister again... unfortunately it's Tony Abbott

I wish I was kidding :(

Dryk:

ten.to.ten:
Things like no dedicated science minister, and no status of women minister or disability care minister aren't a surprise to me at all, the Liberals have had a very uncomfortable relationship with science, and the other things are typical culture war bullshit.

I'm way more surprised about there being no tourism minister, it's a huge part of the economy and something that could shrivel up if it's not taken seriously.

Turns out we do have a Status of Women Minister again... unfortunately it's Tony Abbott

I wish I was kidding :(

same guy who said womens right to say no to sex should be moderated?
who said:

"It would be folly to expect that women would ever approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, their abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons."

that guy you mean? oh we are so screwed

wombat_of_war:

Dryk:

ten.to.ten:
Things like no dedicated science minister, and no status of women minister or disability care minister aren't a surprise to me at all, the Liberals have had a very uncomfortable relationship with science, and the other things are typical culture war bullshit.

I'm way more surprised about there being no tourism minister, it's a huge part of the economy and something that could shrivel up if it's not taken seriously.

Turns out we do have a Status of Women Minister again... unfortunately it's Tony Abbott

I wish I was kidding :(

same guy who said womens right to say no to sex should be moderated?
who said:

"It would be folly to expect that women would ever approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, their abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons."

that guy you mean? oh we are so screwed

He also put himself in charge of national security, indigenous affairs and deregulation.

So yeah... pretty much

Quick question: what's the Aussie public response been to having two British-born PMs on the bounce? Evidently there's been no equivalent of Obama's birther-mania, but is the average Aussie particularly fussed about having an ex-Pom[1] in office?

[1] I understand that in Australia that's an oxymoron - once a Pommie wanker, always a Pommie wanker!

Why would you have a minister of status of women and science?! We don't have either and we didn't fall back into the middle ages :/ We used to have a dedicated minister of Equal Opportunity though but now that task has fallen onto the minister of interior.

Batou667:
Quick question: what's the Aussie public response been to having two British-born PMs on the bounce? Evidently there's been no equivalent of Obama's birther-mania, but is the average Aussie particularly fussed about having an ex-Pom[1] in office?

Not really an issue. A few people brought up Gillard being born in Wales when she was PM, but it wasn't really a thing.

[1] I understand that in Australia that's an oxymoron - once a Pommie wanker, always a Pommie wanker!

Well, look on the bright side. At least you don't have someone as the Minister of Science who thinks science is a tool of the devil. Better to have none, than to have someone who'll do harm.

Batou667:
Quick question: what's the Aussie public response been to having two British-born PMs on the bounce? Evidently there's been no equivalent of Obama's birther-mania, but is the average Aussie particularly fussed about having an ex-Pom[1] in office?

It would probably be more of an issue if they didn't "look Australian" (read: white). I think the sort of people who would care aren't the sort of people that would notice.

[1] I understand that in Australia that's an oxymoron - once a Pommie wanker, always a Pommie wanker!

Umm, quick question; what was a science minister suppose to do? Was it like an education thing, or did they oversee publicly funded scientific efforts?

tilmoph:
Umm, quick question; what was a science minister suppose to do? Was it like an education thing, or did they oversee publicly funded scientific efforts?

They oversee all the government research organisations, as well as the organisation that issues grants and the patent office.

Mind that this new government wants to be able to veto grant applications and just abolished a body that provided resources and awareness for the effects of climate change in Australia.

Dryk:

tilmoph:
Umm, quick question; what was a science minister suppose to do? Was it like an education thing, or did they oversee publicly funded scientific efforts?

They oversee all the government research organisations, as well as the organisation that issues grants and the patent office.

Mind that this new government wants to be able to veto grant applications and just abolished a body that provided resources and awareness for the effects of climate change in Australia.

Unlikely; the minister of Science position is typically used to reign in funding for 'politically unwanted research'. This is not a sign that there will be more research oversight from the government but less. Generally this means researches get more leeway on what they research; as such expect Nuclear Fission related topics to pop up in the future.

thaluikhain:
Also, one woman in the cabinet. Australia's cabinet has less women than Afghanistan's cabinet.

Yes because hiring a Eurasian lesbian communist on the basis of promoting diversity worked so well. Who would have known she was unqualified to be both Minister for Climate Change and Minister for Finance and Deregulation? People should be assigned roles on merit; not on how they might break convention.

ten.to.ten:
Things like no dedicated science minister, and no status of women minister or disability care minister aren't a surprise to me at all, the Liberals have had a very uncomfortable relationship with science, and the other things are typical culture war bullshit.

I'm way more surprised about there being no tourism minister, it's a huge part of the economy and something that could shrivel up if it's not taken seriously.

None of your mentioned ministerial positions have particular reason to exist as they overlap with per-exisitng positions. Its usally a good idea to have less bureaucracy, not more.

Fraser Greenfield:
Unlikely; the minister of Science position is typically used to reign in funding for 'politically unwanted research'. This is not a sign that there will be more research oversight from the government but less. Generally this means researches get more leeway on what they research; as such expect Nuclear Fission related topics to pop up in the future.

It wasn't a guess, it was something they promised to do.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/coalition-angers-research-community/story-e6frgcjx-1226712215714

Dryk:

Fraser Greenfield:
Unlikely; the minister of Science position is typically used to reign in funding for 'politically unwanted research'. This is not a sign that there will be more research oversight from the government but less. Generally this means researches get more leeway on what they research; as such expect Nuclear Fission related topics to pop up in the future.

It wasn't a guess, it was something they promised to do.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/coalition-angers-research-community/story-e6frgcjx-1226712215714

great we have a leader now who is devoutly religious who you can bet anything will be limiting any sort of research he doesnt agree with

EDIT: Never mind at this point. I'll wait to see what this does. People predict disaster from this administration, so I'll wait and see.

I don't really see the need for a "women's rights" minister or something, as it implies the government will have different rights for women - either good for women or bad for women.

The lack of a minister for science though is very concerning as technological advancement is essentially how a nation retains its competitive edge against others in the modern version of the "arms race" - trade.

Also lacking a minister for tourism is crazy. Australia is a very desireable tourist destination. Unique wildlife, unique environment, beautiful beaches and great weather.

It looks like this government is determined to shoot itself in the foot.

wombat_of_war:

"It would be folly to expect that women would ever approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, their abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons."

Could someone explain why people keep bringing this up and making it out like he said "bitches should stay in the kitchen"?. I'm not arguing that Tony Abbott sounds a few oars short of a working rowboat, but this seems like the tamest example of his many stupid statements.

major_chaos:

wombat_of_war:

"It would be folly to expect that women would ever approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, their abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons."

Could someone explain why people keep bringing this up and making it out like he said "bitches should stay in the kitchen"?. I'm not arguing that Tony Abbott sounds a few oars short of a working rowboat, but this seems like the tamest example of his many stupid statements.

I think it's more because he's made a lot of stupid comments about women. Now granted he's made a lot of stupid comments about everything and he really needs to have some regulation between his mind and his mouth (and for the record I don't think he's sexist, just utterly incompetent and proving that point), so people are taking it as the sum of the whole.

ten.to.ten:
Things like no dedicated science minister, and no status of women minister or disability care minister aren't a surprise to me at all, the Liberals have had a very uncomfortable relationship with science, and the other things are typical culture war bullshit.

I'm way more surprised about there being no tourism minister, it's a huge part of the economy and something that could shrivel up if it's not taken seriously.

I'm confused, normally liberalism is associated pretty strongly with science, at least here in the States. Does liberal mean something else in Australia?

OT: It really just is a striking example of how religious fundamentalists view science.

Also, I really can't get over the guy saying that women shouldn't have the right to refuse sex. That's messed up. As in, full-out rape apologetics messed up.

renegade7:
I'm confused, normally liberalism is associated pretty strongly with science, at least here in the States. Does liberal mean something else in Australia?

Not liberal, Liberal. The Liberal Party of Australia is the name of a political party, the more right wing of the two big factions (Australian Labor Party and the Liberal/National coalition). OTOH, they usually are liberal compared to US politicians, though Abbott worries me.

renegade7:
Also, I really can't get over the guy saying that women shouldn't have the right to refuse sex. That's messed up. As in, full-out rape apologetics messed up.

Yup. There's no other way to say it.

one of the former leaders of the liberal party and prime minister malcom frazier actively critised the way the party has been going and his final act apon dropping his membership in the party after abbot was elected liberal party leader was to say "the party was no longer a liberal party but a conservative party."

hes also said that "It is a sobering thought that in recent times, freedoms hard won through centuries of struggle, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere have been whittled away. In Australia alone we have laws that allow the secret detention of the innocent. We have had a vast expansion of the power of intelligence agencies. In many cases the onus of proof has been reversed and the justice that once prevailed as been gravely diminished."

renegade7:
I'm confused, normally liberalism is associated pretty strongly with science, at least here in the States. Does liberal mean something else in Australia?

Outside of the US, "liberal" tends to refer to economic liberalism and neoliberalism, as in low taxes, low spending and a small government, much more similar to what in the US is called "libertarianism", rather than left wing social progressivism.

Liberalism was also synonymous with anti-communism back in the mid 20th century, which was a big issue when the Liberal Party of Australia was founded.

In that sense, the Liberal Party of Australia is very similar ideologically to the Republican Party, although probably to the left of them on most social issues, such as abortion, same-sex unions, gun control and universal healthcare.

I'm not Australian and know little of Aussie political parties and whatnot. But this thread sounds like a poor excuse to bitch about the new government. Oh dear, the name of a ministry has changed! Let's not consider whether the portfolio stays the same and whether the minister is at all competent, they removed "science" from the ministry's name, therefore they want to take the whole country back several hundred years!

Yeah, there might be some nuance to it, but this is how it looks to an outsider: making a little circle to bitch about the change of a name. I guess Australia will now join other Stone Age-level countries without an explicitly named science minister, like Spain or Norway. It will be hundreds of years before it reaches the level of science powerhouses like Venezuela or Morocco...

RyQ_TMC:
I'm not Australian and know little of Aussie political parties and whatnot. But this thread sounds like a poor excuse to bitch about the new government. Oh dear, the name of a ministry has changed! Let's not consider whether the portfolio stays the same and whether the minister is at all competent, they removed "science" from the ministry's name, therefore they want to take the whole country back several hundred years!

Yeah, there might be some nuance to it, but this is how it looks to an outsider: making a little circle to bitch about the change of a name. I guess Australia will now join other Stone Age-level countries without an explicitly named science minister, like Spain or Norway. It will be hundreds of years before it reaches the level of science powerhouses like Venezuela or Morocco...

its not just that they renamed it. its the fact that the guy in charge of the country is very backwards looking. to put it in perspective take one of the most conservative politicians in your country who has very much a religious agenda and then put him in charge of the country and scientific research in your country. this is the same guy who outright said "climate change is crap" and we are one of the most at risk countries on earth.

people are honestly scared and worried that abbott won

RyQ_TMC:
I'm not Australian and know little of Aussie political parties and whatnot. But this thread sounds like a poor excuse to bitch about the new government. Oh dear, the name of a ministry has changed! Let's not consider whether the portfolio stays the same and whether the minister is at all competent, they removed "science" from the ministry's name, therefore they want to take the whole country back several hundred years!

Yeah, there might be some nuance to it, but this is how it looks to an outsider: making a little circle to bitch about the change of a name. I guess Australia will now join other Stone Age-level countries without an explicitly named science minister, like Spain or Norway. It will be hundreds of years before it reaches the level of science powerhouses like Venezuela or Morocco...

Like wombat said, you have to view it in the context of who Tony Abbott is and what he's done since he became Liberal leader. He's referred to the claims of the climate scientists as "absolute crap" and turned climate change from an issue of bipartisan agreement into a wedge.

While he was Health Minister in the previous Liberal government the parliament stripped him of his power to veto the approval of new drugs because he used it to veto the RU-486 abortion drug, which was widely believed to be based on his Catholicism, since the Australian Medical Association refuted the excuses given by the Department of Health on its veto.

And while not directly related to science, he's famous for his puritanical views on sex and virginity, the role of women in society, and feeling "threatened" by homosexuality.

I don't think it's unfair to say that he's seen widely as someone who regularly puts his faith ahead of reason, and that's why his government in particular eliminating Science Minister raises red flags.

I'm hoping there's a successful backroom coup by Turnbull to take the reigns before Abbott manages to drag us back to the 50s.

wombat_of_war:
people are honestly scared and worried that abbott won

How'd the PMs before him do?

RyQ_TMC:
I'm not Australian and know little of Aussie political parties and whatnot.

It shows, too.

Topsider:

wombat_of_war:
people are honestly scared and worried that abbott won

How'd the PMs before him do?

Enh... Depends what your criteria for evaluation is.

What the pollies here never say is that the performance of the economy has basically fuck all to do with political policy. If the resource sector is in good shape, so is the national economy. If the resource sector is fucked, same goes for the national economy. Wouldn't matter who was in charge.

To be honest, the Libs didn't win the election so much as the ALP lost it by being a bunch of undisciplined, directionless fucks.

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