Precious Petals

Ian Macfarlane, the industry minister, has hit out at the “precious petals in the science industry” who criticise the government over Australia’s lack of a science minister.

Macfarlane, who oversees a large portfolio that includes energy, skills and science, said he is irked by criticism of Tony Abbott’s decision to not appoint a dedicated science minister.

“I’m just not going to accept that crap,” he said. “It really does annoy me. There’s no one more passionate about science than me, I’m the son and the grandson of a scientist. I hear this whinge constantly from the precious petals in the science industry.”

Thats the lead three paragraphs from this article in the Guardian news site.

Speaking for myself alone, what the actual futz?

I'm not a scientist, the closest thing I have to an academic qualification is a Certificate IV in Office Admin, but I am passionate about science and it's place in our society. It's part of why I started For Science! in the first place. Now to be told that because I have legitimate concerns about the direction this country is taking with regards to research and science, I'm some sort of "Precious Petal" whinging and getting the vapours.

Screw that.

Here's a thing. We need science. We don't just need it for the medical breakthroughs or the like, though that is important. We're going to need it to develop the industries that we're going to need when we can't rely on mining anymore. If we don't start really building up our research and development capabilities then we're screwed, destined to continue as we always have done, a middling nation that aspires to nothing greater than following the big boys and girls and hoping to get to play with their toys.

So fine, if worryng about that makes me a Precious Petal, then so be it. I'll try and be the most Precious Damn Petal you've ever seen.

Oh, and one more thing. If Ian Macfarlane is the de-facto Science minister as he claims, how come he wasn't at the Eureka Awards being held tonight in Sydney?