There is a mantra which is popular in right wing circles: it holds that the private sector is infinitely more efficient than the public sector. If this is the case, then surely to God our private industry can conduct its own damn research and development without needing any taxpayer money.
But apparently not; rather, this country’s foremost public research organization, the National Research Council, is being retooled into a hand-maiden of industry. That’s right, everyone: less money for hoity-toity ivory tower pursuits like, I don’t know, trying to control the spread of epidemic diseases and more free R&D for companies trying to build the superior toaster oven. Science!
Says Harper Lackey and NRC director John McDougall (demonstrating, once again, that he is utterly unqualified for any job more sophisticated than cleaning urinals with his tongue):
“Impact is the essence of innovation. A new idea or discovery may in fact be interesting, but it doesn’t qualify as innovation until it’s been developed into something that has commercial or societal value.”
Yup! Because Christ only knows that Albert Einstein wasn’t being innovative when he came-up with the theory of relativity! Poor old man should have devoted his life to trying to develop a new type of nail polish!
Now, I have already gone on at length about why this is an absolute fucking moronic policy which will ultimately only ruin science in this country and undermine our economy: the long and the short of it is that the demand for immediate commercial applications fundamentally misunderstands the nature of research. But really, what am I to expect? What is anyone to expect from a committed, wooden-headed philistine like Stephen Harper, now undisputably the worst PM ever on science issues and well on his way to being the worst single Prime Minister in Canadian history?