Dozens of Australia’s leading scientists have added their voices to growing condemnation of a minister’s decision to veto grant funding for humanities projects, calling for an end to “political interference” in the peer review process.
Academic freedom should be the cornerstone of the role of research in a modern healthy democracy. In recent years in Australia, we’re seeing that it’s not the case here. Whether a project is funded should be based on learned and independent peer review, not the kind of knee-jerk populist outrage dog-whistling that drives some politicians.
“Research in Australia has become political and shortsighted,” warns the letter signed by recipients of Australia’s most prestigious and largest award for individual researchers and includes researchers from all disciplines. It also calls for Mr Robert to reverse his veto and approve ARC grant applications that “pass through the tried, tested and rigorous peer review process and that meet the conditions set out in the call for applications”.