The Government's decision to shed jobs in environmental research is driven by economic interests and not scientific ones, the Association of Scientists says.
Crown-owned Landcare Research, which specialises in land, soil and biodiversity science, this week announced it was planning to axe 11 positions.
The agency said the cuts were in response to falling demand.
However, it planned to add 12 new jobs in areas where demand had increased.
Association of Scientists immediate past president Shaun Hendy said it was the Government which decided what was and was not in demand.
"A lot of these researchers are researchers that do public good and so it's the government that purchase their services.
"Sure, the government wants fewer scientists working in this area. I don't think the public would necessarily agree and I think it's disappointing that we're seeing this erosion of funding in this area and a shifting of priorities."
Most of the scientists who would lose their jobs would have to look overseas.