CSIRO mustn't criticise government policy

CSIRO uncovered

On its website, the CSIRO proudly claims to be “Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.”

What it doesn’t tell you, however, is that the results of such research must not conflict with government policy, as Dr Art Raiche, former Chief Research Scientist at the organisation, revealed at the recent carbon tax rally:

The original Scientists of the CSIRO were the best of their day and the CSIRO was a non-Government organisation working with quality science and how useful it was to Australia. (research)

In the 80′s, I noticed we were under increasing pressure to become more “Business like” and the doors were opened to “Management Consultation.”

Layer upon layer of management was created, some intersecting others.

You think that your tax dollars went towards research but a lot of it was devoted to letting them play their management games…. the CSIRO was sent to fancy business schools in the US and Europe and they didn’t learn one thing… 

Management learned how to bring the most senior climate scientist under their control. It was OK to think independently…as long as Management approved of it.

We were given very strict, VERY strict guidelines on not publishing anything or publicly discussing any research that could be seen as critical to Government policy. If we did not do it, we would be subject to dismissal.

We had now become a Government Enterprise. We were told by the Chairperson that we Scientists no longer worked for Australia, we had to learn that we worked for the CSIRO. (original YouTube video here)

We have always suspected that CSIRO was merely doing the government’s bidding with its endless stream of climate alarmism – and now we know. Science has nothing to do with government policy, it is independent of any extraneous influences, and its sole responsibility is the investigation of scientific phenomena, analysis of data, developing and testing hypotheses and advising governments – not meekly following them.

Therefore the inevitable conclusion is that CSIRO isn’t doing science. It’s doing politics. In which case, why does it still exist?

UPDATE: Readers have helpfully reminded me of the saga of Dr Clive Spash, back in late 2009, which gives weight to the claims of Dr Raiche. The CSIRO tried to block publication of a report critical of the then Emissions Trading Scheme. Spash eventually resigned. Read the stories on ACM here, here and here.

[Thanks to No Carbon Tax.]




  2. The Surfing Skeptic says:

    These claims would be more credible if they included details like the names of the anonymous managers who told the CSIRO scientists they could no longer contradict government policy and the dates when the alleged edicts were issued. Are there no copies of internal memos in existence verifying Dr Raiche’s claims? I don’t doubt this transition took place but where’s the evidence?

    • I agree it would be great to see a smoking gun, but that just won’t happen.

      • Sean McHugh says:

        True, but it still provides sufficient confirmation for what was already quite apparent. It would be damaging enough if the media weren’t so protective of this abysmal government.

    • Not an exact “smoking gun” in that it doesn’t reveal evidence of policy. However, it is evidence of such a policy being applied. Below is one, use google for more on this “incident”

      Clive Spash. 2009

      • The Surfing Skeptic says:

        Thanks for that Norma. (Clive Spash. 2009). It certainly provides some independent support. There must be internal CSIRO emails and memos in existence that would further corroborate Dr Raiche’s claims. Something on the scale of the University of East Anglia email scandal would be just the ticket.

    • As a symptom of the underlying disease, Clives Spash’s experience in late 2009 is telling.

      SCIENTIST Clive Spash has resigned from the CSIRO and called for a Senate inquiry into the science body following the censorship of his controversial report into emissions trading…

      He said he was stunned at the treatment he received at the hands of CSIRO management, including boss Megan Clark, and believed he was not alone…

      Last month, Dr Spash accused the organisation of gagging him and his report – The Brave New World of Carbon Trading – and restricting its publication.

      The report is critical of cap and trade schemes, like the one the federal government is seeking to introduce, as well as big compensation to polluters…

      Under intense pressure, Dr Clark publicly released the report on November 26 but warned Dr Spash would be punished for his behaviour and his refusal to amend it.

      Of all things, Spash was advocating a “direct tax on carbon” in defiance of the government’s (and so CSIRO’s) push at the time for an ETS!

  3. I remember up until a few years ago BOM meteorologists were always skeptical / non committal when quizzed of their opinions on climate change, then suddenly they were all believers (officially)! I wonder why that would be??

  4. When science is governed by policy it is no longer science.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the government responded by saying that their policy is driven by science, not the other way around. I’ll bet their policy doesn’t change when new discoveries are made that contradict their policies, however.

  5. Lyall Gardner says:

    During Dr Raiche’s speech at the carbon tax rally, suddenly the TV coverage from Sky News crashed right in the middle of his revelation of CSIRO’s “political” approach to science rather than an “independent” approach. Co-incidence? Or maybe Sky had a call from “high places” to pull the coverage.
    As Julia Gillard has continually argued she MUST follow the science of organisations such as CSIRO it just shows how corrupt the whole issue of carbon tax from the Labor Party perspective has become.

  6. I worked for the CSIRO for a short time, back in the mid nineties, they were in the midst of the change away from being given buckets of money to do ‘pure’ science (ie, whatever they felt like studying at the time). Without exception, the people working there were genuinely interested in their work, and lamented the fact that there was a big push to secure funding from private enterprise, particularly as they had to allocate a minimum % of their time to go hunting for funding from businesses and NGOs.

    Obviously private enterprise will fund research on topics which they believe will make them a profit, and this leads to problems in that the private enterprise may put undue pressure on the scientists involved, to provide results that may not be strictly accurate, or that the tests conducted, are designed to prove a selling point (the ‘strapped chicken’ approach), rather than be independent and rely purely on the scientific method, reporting the good, with the bad. This concept did, and does, annoy many many scientists, but what to do?

    This doesn’t mean that all CSIRO research is dodgy by any means, as there is some brilliant work being done by some brilliant people, but the system has been corrupted by politics and private funding, the damage done, and there’s no going back now…

    I distinctly recall one conversation with some CSIRO old-timers about budgets in the ‘good old days’, (60’s, 70’s) where a budget was allocated to a CSIRO Division, and if they went over-budget one year, it meant they would get more money the next, so they would make sure they always went over budget. (who wouldn’t?). Maybe that wasn’t right either, but thats how it was…and the CSIRO was a well respected world leader in many areas of research and development, unlike the current situation, it seems, where, for example, Luddites at Greenpeace think its ok to destroy a wheat crop (and potentially years of research), because they don’t like the research being done.

    Sorry, a long rant…please forgive me.

    • About the GM wheat you have to suspect someone inside the CSIRO wanted it destroyed otherwise how did Greenpeace know about it and it’s location? Either Greenpeace activists work for the CSIRO or as good as!

  7. The CSIRO’s blind faith in claiming that ‘climate change is real’ is a testament not to the truth of man-made global warming, but to the CSIRO’s decline.

    The once great organisation has fallen prey to making a business of science rather than making science it’s business.

    • I dispute they are declining. They are successful at producing material that supports those who pay them. Let us hope that in the future some one puts the cleaners in since there is no point paying to hear your own thoughts unless it helps to beat someone else over the head with it. Their role is becoming obvious which signals the end game then they will decline. Certainly their morality has declined.

      • The CSIRO is already in decline. Ever since they’ve sold out and used the term ‘carbon pollution’, which they have in several documents, then they are and will continue to decline further. ‘Carbon pollution’ is a political term and has no scientific meaning other than in junk science.

  8. gyptis444 says:

    The recent CSIRO publication on future energy in Australia did not even mention nuclear power. It is clear that CSIRO has been politicised. We now have policy-based evidence as the norm from this, the most incompetent Government in living memory.

  9. We used to be so proud of the CSIRO…

  10. Simultaneously, precisely the same transformation has occurred over recent years in the tertiary education arena. UNSW is a leading example. Cast an eye over this line-up of alarmist lickspittles. Then find one reported word from any questioning the prevailing climate religion.

    • You can also add the ABC to the list of government agencies who’ve skewed there output to government policy.

      Are there any investigations undertaken by Universities, the ABC or the CSIRO that do not tow the government policy line on global warming/climate change. If there is, I’d really like to see it.

  11. this is the same ngo that assisted in the importing of cane toads, right?

  12. Deanne Graf via Facebook says:

    The supposedly almighty god of science preached and worshipped in every institute of learning in the West has an achilles heel. It can be bought just like everyone else. I wonder if this upcoming generation will have the fortitude to question what they have been taught is infallible.

  13. So if the Coalition gets in and tells the CSIRO climate change is crap they will now bid for the new government? I doubt it, too many ideologues in organisations like the CSIRO. Unfortunately the fashionable hypothesis of AGW has too much momentum in professional circles for any serious change in direction.

  14. When you see the names of some of our scientists turn up on Supreme Master TV and satellite networks, it leaves you doubting their scientific integrity.
    ” Supreme Master TV ?” – ” Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet” – that’s the one, the adverts pop up on SBS TV occasionally.
    Don’t watch if you don’t like reinforcement programming.

    David Karoly , Supreme Master TV

    Matthew England, David Karoly , Supreme Master TV

    Prof. Barry Brook, Supreme Master TV

    Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Supreme Master TV

    No eating of meat or fish will save the planet – ho hum.
    You can Google around to see various opinions on Supreme Master Ching – Hai.

    And if your feeling cold, just snuggle up with your pet under a rug, to save using the heater. (Australian DCC&EE).
    Hope your pet isn’t a tarantula or a boa constrictor.


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