A Liberal MP has criticised Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott's decision not to appoint a science minister and says the cabinet hasn't been chosen entirely on merit.

Dennis Jensen says Mr Abbott's decision to absorb the science portfolio into the industry and education portfolios will make science a "somewhat schizophrenic policy area".

"This is something that to me is strange," Dr Jensen told ABC television on Tuesday.

"We've got a minister for sport for God's sake, but we don't have a minister for science."

The West Australian backbencher said Mr Abbott's frontbench choices weren't entirely based on merit.

"But that's a political reality as well," he said, adding that the decisions were based on keeping a balance between upper and lower house MPs and making sure states were fairly represented.

"There are also internal political power, if you will, issues that you take into consideration when determining what your frontbench make up is."

But he denied that Mr Abbott had a woman problem and said ministry choices should be based on merit.

Dr Jensen, who last week put his hand up for the job of science minister, criticised his party for not having a coherent policy on science.

"I guess this is the problem with not having people of scientific bent in decision making processes," he said.

Dr Jensen, a self-confessed climate change sceptic, said Mr Abbott still had time to change his mind and include science as a specific portfolio area before the frontbench was sworn in on Wednesday.

Incoming Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said he was passionate about science.

"My mother is a scientist. My grandfather was a scientist, a geologist," he told ABC radio.

"I'm a great believer in innovations and inventions."

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