On Monday the State Services Commission opened applications for the new CE for the new Ministry of Science and Innovation. It’s the new ministry formed by amalgamating the Ministry of Research Science and Technology (that provided policy and advice to Wayne Mapp) and the Foundation Research Science and Technology which funded science.
The ministry’s new name is a really good one, I admit – and it reflects the importance science plays both for its own sake and driving innovation and our economy.
The question is can the new ministry live up to it?
As I’ve said in an earlier blog, this should be our opportunity to really launch a new vision for science that can drive innovation in NZ like they’ve done in Finland, Denmark, Singapore, Israel and other like-sized countries. They have really impressive science and innovation programmes, their economy depends on them.
The key point will be the person selected to head the Ministry to set that vision. So it makes sense that we cast our recruitment net wide for a new CE to attract the best international expertise and best practice.
That might not be what’s happening, however. Vacancies for the CE opened last Friday 25 June and will close 14 July. That’s a bit over two weeks. Tell me how you troll the world for the best in the business in that time?
The answer is you don’t. It’s looking more like pat, pat, wink, wink.
In the meantime, I’ve sent in a few written questions to Mr Ryall (Min of State Services) to ask what procedures were followed.
It might well be that the best applicant is here in NZ, but will we really know? And, wouldn’t it be good if we did select a Kiwi from a top class talent pool?
Good one Dr Mapp – tell me, what directions did you give? Here’s your aspirational, step change new Ministry.