Mortein’s Rule holds “when you are on a good thing stick to it.” Which is what Labor research shadow Kim Carr did yesterday as outrage rolled on over Simon Birmingham vetoing ARC approved research grants. Senator Carr broke the story with a question in Senate Estimates on Thursday night.
Senator Carr has now written to Education Minister Dan Tehan asking if he will reinstate 2007 protocols that require ministers to publicly report if they reject Australian Research Council advice on grants, in time for the announcement of the next round of Discovery, Discovery Indigenous and Discovery Early Career awards.
“I trust you will agree that arbitrary interventions of this kind contravene academic freedom, damaging the global standing of Australia’s researchers and the institutions in which they work,” the senator inquired.”
Senator Carr was too modest to point out that he was the minister who put protocols in place requiring ministers to explain any rejection of ARC recommendations.