It looks like no job is immune to outsourcing, not even climate scientist jobs in Australia. The country’s science bureaucracy is considering having all climate modeling work done in Britain after announcing the firing of some 350 employees, including 100 climate scientists.
Alex Wonhas, executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) told Australian lawmakers the science agency “was considering contracting some work to counterparts in the British Met Office,” The Hepburn Advocate reported Wednesday.
“I don’t think that I can credibly claim that everything [we are doing now] will continue,” Wonhas said, according to The Advocate. “There will be a reduction in our activity.”
It’s speculated CSIRO contracting with the British Met Office — the U.K.’s top climate agency — is part of an effort to cut the country’s funding of climate science while also showing the international community they still care about the issue.
“It is part of consultation and discussions with stakeholders about how research in the climate area can be maintained and maximised in the future,” a CSIRO spokesman said, adding that Aussie officials secretly planned to layoff hundreds of employees.
“There was concern that distress may be caused to staff if options for staff reduction, which are not yet finalised, were leaked or distributed,” he added.
Aussie officials announced they were cutting 350-jobs from CSIRO in February, including the possibility of laying off 100 jobs involved in global warming research. Obviously, the scientists fired were livid.
“Firstly the overall number of people in CSIRO is projected to be unchanged at the end of a two year period, however up to 350 people may lose their positions as we change the focus of our work program,” Larry Marshall, CSIRO’s chief executive said in a statement in response to media criticism.