7 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. Leigh Sales’s embarrassing nitpick on Pyne last night highlights a couple of points. 1- Is it too hard for ABC reporters to know how to pronounce the most common surname in the world? 2- Subtle and pervasive racism in Australia that insists on correcting people on how to pronounce their own name to the point it forces them to change names. More cuts to the ABC in order?

  2. @iain
    Embarrassing for whom? I thought Pyne was petty and petulant (his default state), and that Sales had finally remembered what her job was and gave him a well-deserved flogging.

  3. It goes without saying that most times Pyne has to explain himself it is embarrassing to watch. But this time – mostly Leigh Sales, imo. An unnecessary and incorrect interjection that the ABC shouldn’t be proud of. Surprised media and people on the left are giving her a free ride over it, even gloating about it in racist fashion today “Pyne gets it wong again” etc. As mentioned – subtle and pervasive racism in Australia that insists on correcting immigrants on how to pronounce their own name is really poor – particularly when it is the ABC and the issue is the most common surname in the world. I see Sales is wasting more money today doing interviews with Wang to get to the bottom of her mistake. To the extent it raises awareness in Australia, it is good. However, pretty bad when the libs are the ones leading the understanding on basic, respectful interface issues related to these matters.

  4. Larry Marshal, the new CEO of CSIRO, has stated:

    Australian scientists have a “duty” to start companies and need to think like entrepreneurs to attract funding, the incoming chief executive of the CSIRO, Dr Larry Marshall, said in his first official remarks.

    News flash for Larry: CSIRO tried that under the leadership of CEO Geoff Garrett, back in the early 2000’s, even hiring an ex-big-tobacco lawyer to head up the PR…and how did that work out? Scientists were still cut, year after year, and staff numbers kept declining right up until the present day, and they are still declining—fast. CSIRO staff numbers have not been so low in decades, and this is an institution which has existed since the 1920’s.

    Larry should take heed of Stephen Cauchi’s article (the link is given above):

    Staff numbers are falling: in 1996, CSIRO employed 7400 people, by 2002, that had contracted to 6400 and in 2013-14, it was 5523. The figure will shrink in 2014-15 to just 5034.

    As a consequence of the cuts, the CSIRO will close eight of its 56 sites while whole areas of research, including radio astronomy, geothermal research and marine biodiversity, will be cut or abandoned.

    So, I’ve got a better idea: How about we let scientists think like…scientists? Perhaps that would be playing to their strengths, perhaps that would increase the scientific productivity and research outputs, the very research which other, more entrepreneurial, people can exploit, thus transforming the research into innovation and finally into product/service to be tested in the market place. It’s just a thought.

  5. @Donald Oats
    Oops. The link where Larry Marshall’s remarks are quoted is Michael Safi’s article. In that same article he makes comments about scientists having to become less risk averse. Does this honestly make sense? Science is about exploring the unknown, which necessarily entails risk, often very expensive risk. You don’t go building the SKA if you are risk averse, you just don’t. If there isn’t a bucketful of patents and innovative new technologies in this work, I’ll eat my hat.

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