Micromanaging the research enterprise …
Fortier (President of NSERC) noted that many governments direct research funds to areas deemed important to the economy, and Canada does this less so than Japan. “Of our total budget, we have about 70 per cent that is open,” she said. “That is a good percentage.”
Weaver (Leading researcher): “Governments have always had a say in research, but this is getting down to micromanagement, this is really specific. What is worse, is that academic researchers must have an industrial partner to qualify for the grant, so the taxpayer is being used to subsidize Canadian corporate research. They’re cutting the [basic research] funding system and also stipulating what you can do… This is unbelievable – this is Orwellian.”
Concerned Researcher: Fortier must be only talking about NSERC’s budget though this percentage (the one reserved for open enquiry) has been shrinking rapidly in the last few years. She is not including government’s directives for NCE’s, CFI’s, and various non peer-reviewed funding.