Simon Birmingham’s intervention in research funding is not unprecedented, but dangerous

Research Humanities Arts and Social Science (HASS) Peer review Australia

Senator Simon Birmingham’s personal intervention during his time as education minister in 2017 and 2018 to deny funding to 11 Australian Research Council (ARC) grants, all in the humanities and worth a combined total of A$4.2 million, has sparked outrage.

Revealed in Senate estimates on Thursday, the vetoed projects included $926,372 for a La Trobe University project titled “Writing the struggle for Sioux and US modernity”, $764,744 for a Macquarie University project on “the music of nature and the nature of music”, and $391,574 for an ANU project called “Price, metals and materials in the global exchange”.

On Friday, Birmingham defended his intervention, suggesting most Australian taxpayers would prefer their funding be directed to other research.

Read the full article on The Conversation.

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