Fund aims to keep Kiwi scientists in NZ
Thu, 25 Oct 2012 5:31a.m.
By Jane Luscombe
Millions of dollars of funding has been awarded to 86 of the country's best researchers for projects which have the potential for global importance.
The Marsden Fund has allocated $54.6 million in grants that will be provided over three years.
Among the recipients is Canterbury historian Dr Heather Wolffram, who is investigating the criminal mind and whether forensic psychology is as reliable as fingerprinting.
She will focus on the psychology of the witness in the hope of providing a deeper understanding of whether the cognitive sciences can help to decide questions of legal responsibility.
Dr Olaf Morgenstern of NIWA will receive $955,000 to investigate the influence ozone has on the blustery westerlies that have become more frequent along New Zealand's western coastline in recent years.
The findings are likely to be of interest to sectors of the economy including those involved in the generation of renewable electricity, as well as agriculture.
Marsden Fund Council chairperson Prof Juliet Gerrard said she was extremely impressed with the quality of the applicants and their proposals.
The fund received 1,113 preliminary applications; 229 were asked to submit full proposals and of those, 86 were chosen.
"The Marsden Fund supports the very best investigators to do world class basic research," says Prof Gerrard. "Marsden lets our brightest investigators work on their best ideas, without worrying about short term priorities.
"Many of these ideas are high risk, but potentially very high gain. In the long-term, we expect some of these projects to make a big difference to New Zealand, in terms of economic growth, social issues, and a wider understanding of who we are as New Zealanders."
More than one-third of the grants are going to researchers early in their careers, with the aim of helping to establish them within New Zealand.
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25/10/2012 11:56:54 a.m.
Guess what JR Murphy, scientists are not business people...they do research in order to benefit all...yes business do employ scientists to conduct research but the studies into things that would benefit all are often not done because no one directly will make money out of the results. No one is going to make money out of discovering the significance of the ozone hole on our trade winds but it might be good to know. Oh hang on... maybe money will be made when a certain culture wants compensation.
25/10/2012 6:57:58 a.m.
JR Murphy wrote:
I hope this isn't government funding, that it is private charitable funding. You just can't keep propping up business people? If they can't get private financial backing for their ideas they shouldn't be given anything!!!!!
Remember the government is withdrawing money from sexually abused women and children, the mentally ill, disabled people, young people's wage rates, sacking hundreds of workers,etc. They are putting more people onto the streets, driving more people to suicide and directly discriminating against people on welfare by introducing authoritarian cruel laws.
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