The Prime Minister has had a chief science advisor since early in his first term, now the Ministry of Primary Industries has a science leader too:
Dr Ian Ferguson (MNZM) has been appointed to the newly created position of Departmental Science Adviser for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Deputy Director General of Policy Paul Stocks announced today.
“This is an exceptionally important role for the Ministry,” Mr Stocks said. “I am confident that Dr Ferguson will provide strong science leadership to ensure that MPI is well connected across government and with the science community, and will continue to produce high quality scientific advice.”
The role focuses on the key areas of quality assurance of science inputs into regulatory decision making; strategic direction for science investment; and ensuring that MPI is able to effectively deal with emerging risks and opportunities. . .
The recognition of the importance of a scientific approach to policy is welcome. It is especially important in the MPI which oversees the productive industries which play such an important role in the economy and have such an impact on the environment.
It’s very easy for governments to have good ideas, ensuring they are based on sound science will help to ensure they work in practice.