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CSIRO Trims Staff

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is cutting a number of jobs and is scaling back on some of its research endeavors, ScienceInsider reports. Over the next two years, the agency will eliminate up to 350 jobs, with basic climate researchers bearing the brunt of the cuts.

The agency's chief executive, Larry Mitchell, argues that climate change has been established as real and that the organization would now be addressing questions of what can be done about it, Nature News notes.

"I am stunned by reports that CSIRO management no longer thinks measuring and understanding climate change is important, innovative, or impactful," former Australian chief scientist Penny Sackett tells ScienceInsider.

In addition to affecting oceans and atmosphere scientists and land and water researchers, the job losses will also affect manufacturing and the digital technology group Data61.

Mitchell took over as CSIRO CEO a little more than a year ago and has a background as a physicist and venture capitalist. Griffith University's Ian Lowe tells ScienceInsider that Mitchell's thinking reflects that business background.

"IT startups might be agile, but deep science cannot be simply switched on and off again," adds Nadine Flood, the national secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union, which represents CSIRO employees.

These cuts come on top of previous job and budget cuts, Nature News notes.