Stupidest Euro-Organisation Ever

icon bureaucracyJust when concerns are increasing about the effects of widespread government funding and control of scientific research, up pops the idea of ScienceEurope.

And just at the time that the Euro-cratisation of national agencies is coming most into question. And just when the decline of productivity-enhancing innovation is hitting the developed world.

Check out the link  for a full mission statement, but these two points jump out:

Establish the scientific community as a third voice in the European Research Area, together with national government and the European Commission

Deliver a coherent plan of action to ensure that publicly funded research and innovation in Europe has the maximum impact, contributing to the development of the economy and providing solutions to deliver societal benefit.

What? So the Director of some scientific Euro-GONGO (Government-Organised Non-Government Organisation) is going to be another voice for orthodoxy and PC, equal to the European Commission? Just when the delightful  Donna Laframboise has shown what a scientific and peer-review disaster the UN-sponsored IPCC has always been?

When this sort of organisation has the mandate to create a “coherent plan of action”, all scientists and researchers should be worried.

That something running so counter to the lessons of the last 25 years can be seriously suggested – and that the UK can be providing its first director – shows two things. Firstly, that Eurocrats and science-crats have no capacity to view their own activity through the lense of the lessons of the 2oth Century.

Secondly, that Eisenhower, rarely noted as much of a thinker, was spot on in his farewell address  when speaking about technology. Text here.

[…] In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.

(via Prospect Magazine UK, which used to be a sensible Left monthly but has gone all luvvie)

UPDATE: Catallaxy mentions Mark Latham’s AFR piece on science, ordinary people and ‘climate denialism’. Rafe refers to big government and big research as being behind science’s loss of authority…pity Mr Latham hasn’t applied his fierce scepticism to the increasingly discredited climate alarmism that is in fact behind the loss of expertise-authority he laments. His piece is perilously close to advocating technocracy, completely counter to his vigorous anti-wanker position on other matters. Oh, and his flattery of Robert Manne is utterly ridiculous.

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