Skip to content

Reef Row Scientist Peter Ridd Snubs University Gag Order

February 1, 2018
tags:

By Paul Homewood

 

Latest from GWPF on the James Cook University’s attempt to gag Peter Ridd, for daring to criticise their junk science:

 

image

A revised statement of claim alleges JCU trawled through private email conversations in a bid to bolster its misconduct case against him.

JCU had found Professor Ridd guilty of “serious misconduct”, ­including denigrating a co-worker, denigrating the university, breaching confidentiality, publishing information outside of the university and disregarding his obligations as an employee.

Professor Ridd has asked the Federal Court to overturn the university ruling and confirm his right not to be silenced.

In the revised statement of claim, Professor Ridd has dropped an earlier claim of conflict of interest against JCU vice-chancellor Sandra Harding, but has alleged other senior staff had been biased and had not acted fairly or in good faith.

Professor Ridd’s Federal Court action is seen as a test of academic freedom and free speech, and has been supported by the Institute of Public Affairs.

Professor Ridd said he would seek public donations to continue the fight against JCU. He first took court action in November in a bid to stop a JCU disciplinary process against him for comments he made to Sky News presenter Alan Jones.

The university said by expressing concerns about the quality of some reef science, Professor Ridd had not acted in a “collegiate” manner.

Professor Ridd told Sky News: “The basic problem is that we can no longer trust the scientific ­organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.”

He said a lot of the science was not properly checked, tested or replicated and “this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions and the fact is I do not think we can any more”.

A JCU spokesman said the university’s lawyers had invited Professor Ridd to discontinue his proceedings. “(He) has amended his proceedings. His decision to do so is a matter for him,” he said.

“The university intends to vigorously defend those proceedings (but) as these matters are before the courts, JCU will not comment further.”

Lawyers for JCU wrote to Professor Ridd on November 28 confirming the university had determined he had engaged in “serious misconduct” and issued him with a “final censure”.

“The disciplinary process and all information gathered and recorded in relation to the disciplinary process (including the allegations, letters, your client’s responses and the outcome of the disciplinary process) is confidential pursuant to clause 54.1.5 of the university enterprise agreement,” the JCU lawyers said.

Professor Ridd has subsequently published his concerns about the quality of reef science in a peer-reviewed journal. He said he was determined to speak freely about his treatment “even though it will go against explicit directions by JCU not to”.

“This is as much a case about free speech as it is about quality of science,” he said.

https://www.thegwpf.com/reef-row-scientist-peter-ridd-snubs-university-gag-order/

 

The Institute of Public Affairs have also commented on the story:

James Cook University is threatening scientific integrity by seeking to censor one of its academic staff members, Professor Peter Ridd, according to John Roskam, the Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

“The university should not be attempting to silence the scientific debate about the impact of climate change.  Professor Ridd is a world expert on the Great Barrier Reef – he has the right and responsibility to interrogate the research evidence which determines how more than a billion dollars of taxpayer’s money will be spent,” Mr Roskam said.

In August last year Professor Ridd was interviewed by Alan Jones on Sky News  about his chapter in a book Climate Change: The Facts 2017 published by the Institute of Public Affairs.  In his chapter, The Extraordinary Resilience of Great Barrier Reef Corals, and Problems with Policy Science, Professor Ridd wrote:

Policy science concerning the Great Barrier Reef is almost never checked. Over the next few years, Australian government will spend more than a billion dollars on the Great Barrier Reef; the costs to industry could far exceed this. Yet the keystone research papers have not been subject to proper scrutiny. Instead, there is a total reliance on the demonstrably inadequate peer review process.

Professor Ridd said on Sky News:

The basic problem is that we can no longer trust the scientific organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies – a lot of this is stuff is coming out, the science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated and this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions and the fact is I do not think we can any more…

…I think that most of the scientists who are pushing out this stuff they genuinely believe that there are problems with the reef, I just don’t think they’re very objective about the science they do, I think they’re emotionally attached to their subject and you know you can’t blame them, the reef is a beautiful thing.

JCU claimed that Professor Ridd’s comments denigrated the university and the university directed him to make no future such comments.

“The actions of James Cook University (JCU) follow a now-familiar pattern of behaviour by Australia’s universities.  The search for truth has been replaced by unquestioning allegiance to consensus, group-think, and orthodoxy.  The treatment of Professor Ridd by JCU is no different to what the University of Western Australia did to Bjorn Lomborg in 2015,” said Mr Roskam.

IPA research has found a worsening state of free speech on Australia’s university campuses. The IPA’s Free Speech on Campus Audit 2017 found 34 of Australia’s 42 universities are hostile to free speech on campus through their actions and policies.

‘We will enter a new dark age of unreason if universities are afraid of debate,’ said Mr Roskam.

https://ipa.org.au/publications-ipa/professor-peter-ridd-standing-scientific-integrity-james-cook-university

17 Comments
  1. February 1, 2018 7:09 pm

    Go Prof Ridd. Ask almost anyone who has worked on the reef for decades and they will state there is regeneration constantly and the reef is not in danger!

  2. bob nielsen permalink
    February 1, 2018 7:21 pm

    Brave man standing up for debate and science against the medieval inquisition.

  3. Streetcred permalink
    February 1, 2018 10:15 pm

    ” …I think that most of the scientists who are pushing out this stuff they genuinely believe that there are problems with the reef, I just don’t think they’re very objective about the science they do, I think they’re emotionally attached to their subject and you know you can’t blame them, there’s a lot of funding involved.”

    There fixed that in case anybody was wondering 😉

  4. February 1, 2018 10:22 pm

    Notable that the bigwigs at JCU much prefer to hide behind the organisational facade than engage – using what I assume to be public funds to harass / gag a dissident informed independent voice.

    Australian warmists have a track record of going after people’s jobs when they can’t / won’t address a challenge by using actual evidence.

    As ever – there are individuals behind the attack on Peter Ridd – I think it would level the playing field somewhat if his accusers / persecutors got a few namechecks out on the Internet at least ….

    Anybody know who they are?

  5. February 1, 2018 11:28 pm

    They couldn’t prove him wrong with science, so resort to gagging & character assassination;
    Just like the Roman Catholic Church’s censure, trial and gagging of Galileo.

    We must fight these bully boys in any way we can.

    From WUWT –
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/01/james-cook-university-censures-a-climate-skeptic-help-him-fight-back/

    “Again, I ask three things of our readers.

    Retweet and repost this story wherever you can, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.
    To show support, buy a copy of the book in which he says the Great Barrier Reef alarmism is just that.
    If possible, donate to his campaign to fight back against the university- link below.”

    https://www.gofundme.com/peter-ridd-legal-action-fund

    £100 = ~ 177$aus

  6. Green Sand permalink
    February 1, 2018 11:49 pm

    True or false? Has the whole 150m deep Pacific Ocean cooled in a month and a day?

  7. February 2, 2018 6:31 am

    Strangely there’s no mention of this closing down of scientific scepticism and scientific free speech on the BBC; they are more worried about the poor starving polar bears: Polar bears ‘running out of food’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42909866

    • dave permalink
      February 2, 2018 8:31 am

      This thing about bringing your institution into disrepute, why shouldn’t you? I can understand a money-grubbing businessman forbidding slagging off his product as it affects sales…oh…

  8. Athelstan permalink
    February 2, 2018 9:43 am

    A the refreshing uplifting outbreak of truthfulness, is invigorating. Much of the groan, is all advocacy of alarmunism and Aussie tax dollars grant money panic floating off on the tide.

    JCU, imo: just another snowflake factory churning out alarmist loonies.

    Prof. Ridd stays loyal to his university and maybe rightly so, though he points it out where, in his field – to rather large departures from the reality…..sorry I should have said; lax procedure, hysterical hypothesization, “peer review”.. and he is suddenly lucifer and traitor to the cause rolled up.

    Not all of it JCU is bad, there is a school of tropical medicine and College of Science, Technology and Engineering but even students attending courses there will be indoctrinated with the greenwash swill – and meme extending, ‘mankind’s emissions is making it all so much more evil and worserer’.

    ‘The great barrier reef’ in Geological terms, what is observed today is a (relatively) young feature. As with all coral reefs they are dependent on sea conditions, since the recent ice retreat a rising sea level and variables and certainly not least, our lovely star’s bountiful irradiance.
    It is true to say that, the marine environment is precarious (aren’t they all?) and vulnerable to alterations in a number of factors, river silt being one major ‘pollutant’.
    Coral reefs come and go that’s just Geology.

    What is specious association, is a climastrological projection and a certain life giving background (± 390ppm atmospherical distribution) gas.

    What are facts – mankind does affect the reef through hundreds fo thousands of grockle scuba divers and glass bottomed boats screws damaging delicate ecosystems, drag trawling, overfishing and as mentioned before riverine sedimentation particularly after extreme rainfall events, or cyclones as they are known + La Nina. But hey all that mucky water – is just natural…um plus, human ‘excrement’, natural or industrial – which of course doesn’t agree with many delicate marine organisms but even having said that, polyps and fishes they do cope and nature ain’t all that delicate..

    At some point the barrier reef will cease to be, but what influence man’s puny input of a gaseous carbon/oxygen compound: that’s all arrant supposition.

    Professor Ridd, you speak out and in truth, I do and very much wish you well sir, the shame is, you’ll lose the approval of many of your colleagues but then, maybe you never approved of them and true friends stay by your side.

  9. Jack Broughton permalink
    February 2, 2018 10:22 am

    There is much wailing in the “Renewables press” that Trump is going to cut their budget from $2b to $ 700m imminently. There will be a lot of boondanglers available for President Macron and the other believers.

  10. February 2, 2018 12:11 pm

    ‘We will enter a new dark age of unreason if universities are afraid of debate,’ said Mr Roskam.????????

    “WIl enter?” I would say we are there.

    Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. The following statement from Mr. Jefferson (as he is referred to on campus) is carved on a wall somewhere on campus:

    “For here we are not afraid to follow truth no matter where it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: