[ASC-list] Science lobby groups
director at tossgascoigne.com.au
Thu Apr 7 08:00:24 UTC 2011
FASTS (the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological
Societies) was formed in 1985 to lobby Government.
It was expected to be more rowdy and less respectable than the Academy
of Science: science's own pit-bull terrier. Apart from limited
support in the foundation year, FASTS was ruggedly independent.
The question of independence and Government money was regularly
debated at FASTS' Board meetings, especially in the hard times when
the organisation came close to folding in 1994-6. But it survived
without Government money. The sole source of income was membership
fees, and from 1999, sponsorship for its "Science meets Parliament"
event (including a small amount from the Federal Minister).
But then CHASS (the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social
Sciences) came along, in 2002. It sought and was given a one year
grant of $200,000 from Government to get underway. The argument used
was that CHASS would be a funnel of advice from this sector back to
Government, and therefore useful in terms of policy formation.
Minister Brendan Nelson subsequently (and without being asked)
extended this into 5 year's worth of funding. To be even-handed, he
gave the same deal to FASTS, apparently without consulting them.
So to Susan's implied question: does this make for tamer lobby groups?
The answer is yes.
(former ED FASTS 1995-2003, former ED CHASS 2004-8)
Toss Gascoigne and Associates
56 Vasey Cres
CAMPBELL ACT 2612
P. 02 6249 7400
M. 0408 704 442
E. director at tossgascoigne.com.au
ABN: 31 068 557 522
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the ASC-list