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CSIRO chief under fire for comments about R&D culture

Image: Erik Lucero [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A leading Sydney scientist has criticised “insulting” comments about Australian researchers made by Larry Marshall, chief executive of the country’s federal science agency, on a national current affairs television programme.

Michael Biercuk, professor of quantum physics at the University of Sydney and director of the university’s quantum control laboratory, questioned Marshall’s views on why Australia lags behind countries such as the United States in marketing research products and services.

Marshall, who heads the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, suggested that Australia’s university “culture” played a role. He said scientists struggled to commercialise research because they were not taught “how to solve problems” at universities.

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