The new head of the newly created Ministry of Science and Innnovation is Murray Bain (formerly the head of the Foundation of Research, Science and Technology, FRST). He was touted by Wellington insiders as the one who would get the job long before recruitment began.
Is he the best person for the job? He could be, it’s just we’d never know.
The job was advertised for just 2 and half weeks – hardly what I would call a concerted international search to attract the best and the brightest in the world which is what this new position demands. Did we approach world leading countries in innovation, such as Finland, Denmark, Singapore? In that time I doubt it.
The government is spending money and energy amalgamating our science departments, supposedly to herald a step change in science and innovation. Mostly, it’s activity to give an impression it’s doing something. This nudge, nudge, wink, wink approach to recruitment that the government seems to stand behind is further proof it’s not serious.