Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stupid Check system to Japanese Science programs

In May, The Japanese government, now occupied by the Democratic Party of Japan, decided to check efficiency and effectiveness of the national scientific programs.

"Perform an operation on abortive programs!"

Their assessment is partly valuable.
The assessment committee checked several scientific and technological programs, and found some illegal (or semi-illegal) usages.

However, can the committee members understand the scientific importance of those national programs?

I think No.
For example, two similar institutions were focused by the assessment committee:
One is NASVA, http://www.nasva.go.jp/ (National Agency for Automotive Safety & Victims' Aid), and another is NTSL, http://www.ntsel.go.jp/e/index.html (Independent Administrative Institution National Traffic Safety and Environment Laboratory) .
These two have catapult for accelerating automobiles. The former institution's catapult is for maximum speed of 55km/h, and the later is for 50km/h. Although the speed difference is only 10%, the energy difference is almost 20%.
It is not promised that the later catapult can give a car the maximum speed of 55km/h.
However, the assessment committee members shout a person of NASVA explaining their technological programs and presumed as the person did not tell the truth for avoiding reconstruction (destruction) of funding to NASVA.

Why did not the committee understand such a simple physics?
The answer is simple. Most of the member was not scientist: 13 members come from university and only 2 of them have scientific knowledge. I believe that they CANNOT understand the importance of leading edge of science and technology. Do you believe that they can effectively decide which scientific program is not necessary to be continued?

As you may know, this great show related to scientific funding is controlled by Ministry of Finance Japan.
The MOFJ created a scenario, and the committee possibly follow their scenario and decide the abortive scientific program. This will be a reason why many scientists were not included to the assessment committee.

The important thing is a TRUE decision about the national direction of science and technology.
Money game is next.

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